By Lee Ji-hye

A malfunctioning sprinkler system at the controversial Lotte skyscraper in southeastern Seoul has sprayed customers and stock in the Uniqlo store on the second floor on Thursday afternoon.

“It sprayed like a waterfall for about 20 to 30 minutes, and what they did in response was turn off the lights and shut the clothing store down,” the Kyunghyang Newspaper quoted a customer as saying.

“By the look of the amount of water leaking from the ceiling, we thought the sprinkler exploded or something, because we heard something pop before the water started leaking. And most of the clothes that were near the area were completely soaked. ”

Employees demanded that shoppers not take photos of the water, the customer said.

The Safety Management Committee of the Lotte World Mall confirmed that a report was filed at3:44 pmregarding a malfunctioning fire sprinkler at the Uniqlo store on the second floor, causing water to leak onto customers and clothing.

But Lotte said the damage was not as bad as some had reported.

“The water leaked for only about five to 10 minutes, which we identified as a malfunctioning of the sprinkler installed in the ceiling of the clothing store,” a Lotte PR official said.

“The front part of the sprinkler was damaged, and we have replaced it with a properly functioning one.”

The leak follows a series of “malfunctions” at the building, which will be Korea’s tallest and the world’s sixth-tallest at 123 stories when it is completed next year

The $3. 6 billion tower has raised numerous questions about safety after a worker was found dead at the construction site last December, deep cracks appeared in a concrete floor during the initial opening and water leaked out of the aquarium

Chairs in a 4D theater on the eighth floor of the tower were also reported to have shaken during a movie. The theater and the aquarium have been closed since.

The city’s metropolitan government said on April 22 it would look at lifting the suspensions on the theater and aquarium in May after on-site inspection with safety experts.

“Seoul will be making a decision with a top priority on safety, after conducting a thorough safety inspection over the concerned facilities,” the city said.

SOURCE: The Korea Times