International News

‘Most innovative in the world’: St. Petersburg utility services use iron to tackle icicles

The most famous example of the improper use of a smoothing iron is when mobsters torture their victims with it in films. But St. Petersburg utility services have their own ideas – they see it as a perfect tool to tackle icicles.
New Year’s holidays are associated with a lot of partying and drinking in Russia, and one St. Petersburg resident might have thought he was delirious when he saw an iron descending on a rope behind his window.
The man apparently rushed to make a video of the extraordinary event as proof of his own sanity. It soon turned out that it wasn’t a hallucination, but a creative way to knock icicles off of buildings – devised by the city’s public utility services.
The footage shows an iron, which was clearly operated by a pro, delivering precise blows to the ledge and detaching ice from it.
Others noted that an iron was a far cry from plans to use lasers to bring down icicles, voiced by then-governor Valentina Matviyenko in the early 2010s.
Others pointed out that a heavy iron crashing on your head would deal more harm than any piece of ice ever could.
Falling icicles cause death, injury, and property damage in Russia every winter. It’s been an especially hot topic in St. Petersburg recently, with the authorities blamed for poor snow shoveling and failing to cope with overhead ice.