Burst water main floods London streets as temperatures soar

The aftermath on Queens Road, Kingston upon Thames after a burst water main flooded streets (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
The aftermath on Queens Road, Kingston upon Thames after a burst water main flooded streets (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

A burst water main has flooded streets in south-west London as temperatures soared across the UK.

Around 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines responded to the scene on Galsworthy Road in Kingston upon Thames on Monday morning, alongside the police.

Footage shared on social media shows flooding on several roads which have been closed nearby.

Thames Water has said the broken 30-inch pipe does not supply homes so water should not be affected, adding that the conduit is a trunk main and not a sewage pipe as some witnesses claimed.

Sophie Eastop-Scopes walked through the area after dropping her son off at school shortly before 9am and was stranded on the corner of Queen’s Road for almost an hour.

“The water at that time was up to above my ankle,” the 32-year-old virtual assistant told the PA News agency.

“It was also the speed of it and amount of tarmac and debris in it that made walking through dangerous – it just kept coming.

“There were people with buckets trying to stop the water coming into their homes if they had driveways that sloped down to their door.

People were carrying dogs and all sorts.”

After initially being “panicked” that the ankle-deep liquid was sewage water, the Kingston-upon-Thames local said she was later told “it wasn’t sewage but was close to contact with exposed electrics because of the roadworks happening there”.

“So the police started to try and clear the traffic and get pedestrians across safely in case the water became electrically charged, which was quite a scary thought,” she added.

Thames Water said in a statement: “We’re aiming to get things back to normal as soon as we can, particularly in the current heatwave.

“The burst pipe doesn’t directly supply local properties, but we’ll be working hard to limit any impact.

“Our team will need to carry out a major repair, and there’s a road closure in place. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

“It’s a complex repair, so likely to take at least two weeks to complete.”

The flooding also limited access to nearby Kingston Hospital, which Thames Water said it would be able to help by reducing the road closure size on Monday night.

“Due to the water works incident on Kingston Hill, access to Kingston Hospital is currently limited,” Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust tweeted.

Patients who need to come in can still enter the hospital site through the main car park entrance, via Coombe (road).”

London Fire Brigade said: “Firefighters are dealing with a large burst water main and is causing a number of road closures.

“Please avoid the area if possible.”