A broken water main in the parking lot of the Philadelphia International Airport left the airport’s terminals without water pressure for more than two hours on Monday evening — leaving passengers with no way to flush toilets and only a “small dribble” of water dripping from faucets.
The airport (PHL) confirmed later that night that pressure to the terminals’ bathrooms had been restored, but not before passengers began tweeting about the less-than-sanitary conditions.
“There’s literally blood, urine and feces in all of the toilets in each of the terminals,” one passenger alleged, following news of the ordeal. “Where else can we go to use the restroom?”
Chris O’Connell, a reporter with Fox 29 Philadelphia, further tweeted that travelers were complaining of “horrible conditions” as well as “feces all over the stall.”
The PHL’s official Twitter account first reported news of the water main breakage just before 5 p.m., informing passengers of “no water pressure throughout the airport terminals” and apologizing for the inconvenience.
The airport continued to update its followers, sharing news of the Philadelphia Water Department’s efforts to fix the problem. They also informed passengers that hand sanitizers would be distributed to the restrooms until sinks were working, but some still had questions.
“Where should people go to use the bathroom?” asked one.
“How are food service employees washing their hands?” another wondered.
The airport later tweeted that only bottled beverages and foods would be available in the wake of the incident, as “cooking operations are suspended.”
The airport confirmed that pressure was eventually restored to terminals just after 7:30 p.m.
Subsequent reports tied the problem to a broken water main beneath the airport’s economy parking lot, which partially submerged cars and created a sinkhole in the parking area. The parking authority towed away around two dozen vehicles, Philly.com reported.
The Water Department announced it was planning to work all night and into Tuesday to repair the damage.