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Water main explosion washes up bones in Finsbury

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 June 2011

The flooding in St John Street

The flooding in St John Street

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»Floods of water and rubble gushed down a busy road after a main pipeline burst – washing up bones that turned the street into a crime scene.

A large underground water main in St John Street, Finsbury, suddenly burst at around 10.45am on Saturday, cracking the tarmac and unleashing a torrent.

Witnesses said the water flowed several feet high for 45 minutes, leaving piles of rubble when it dried up, while two basement flats were completely flooded.

Dianne Elliot, 47, who lives next door, said: “I looked out of the window and it was like a tsunami. I nearly had a heart attack.

“It was the most frightening thing. My son was crying for an hour, he thought it was going to flood us. The only reason it didn’t is because my quick-thinking neighbour boarded me up. I was just standing there shaking.”

Police closed off the area as they tried to determine whether the washed-up bones were human.

Workmen had to wait until Saturday night before they were allowed to start replacing the pipe, when they were found to be animal remains.

The explosion narrowly missed an estate agent who was parked in his Mercedes – and got trapped because Thames Water workers feared the road could collapse underneath him.

Mrs Elliot added: “They were not sure if it was going to sink, so he was not allowed out. They were worried it was going to collapse if he moved his car.”

St John Street, Myddeton Street and Spencer Street were closed for most of the day.

St John Street resident Jacqueline Webster, 58, said: “I have never seen anything like it in my life.”

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We were carrying out planned repairs in the area when the main pipe burst.

“It has now been repaired, although we expect it to be at least a week before the road is rebuilt over the top of it.”


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