ASH locked down after pipe bursts and electricity is turned off

Atascadero State Hospital was locked down Friday after a ruptured pipe flooded a basement and prompted staff to shut down most of the power.

Hospital officials learned an 8-inch pipe split after a water alarm sounded around 7 a.m., according to spokeswoman Donna Nelson.

A large amount of water poured into the basement and spread to an electrical vault.

Most of the power was shut down and water was turned off, causing hospital officials to activate an emergency disaster plan.

The facility was locked down and patients were confined to their housing units and courtyards. Those who may have been susceptible to heat were transferred to an air conditioned location. Sack breakfasts and lunches were served to patients.

Hospital staff working the night shift stayed for about two additional hours until 9 a.m. and extra officers were called into the facility for security.

By about 11 a.m. the water was restored but power was still off. The cause of the breakage was unknown, Nelson said.

- Leslie Parrilla