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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbrian car park closed after collapse

Part of a car park has collapsed after a water main burst.

Seascale car park hole photo
The hole on the car park

The main car park in Seascale has been closed after a large hole appeared in it.

It has been blamed on a major problem in the water system that led to the ground subsiding.

A car is understood to have been damaged as the ground gave way on South Parade yesterday.

Safety experts are now assessing the damage before deciding whether at least part of the area is safe enough to be reopened.

The hole left by the burst main comes just days after a former mineshaft collapsed in Egremont, forcing the evacuation of nine homes. Copeland council is in charge of both clear-up operations.

David Moore, the councillor who represents Seascale on the authority, told the News & Star today: “We will be calling United Utilities to account because we can’t have something that’s like a bomb ticking away.

“We want to know what remedial works they are going to do to do to make sure it’s repaired and that it never happens again.”

Cumbria police sealed off the area after the hole was reported.

A spokesman said: “Pressure had built up in a waste water outlet.

“We were called and found United Utilities dealing with a large hole in the car park. We secured it and left it in their hands.”

A&D Dickson butcher’s shop is across from the car park.

Apprentice Mark Fidler said: “The car park is completely closed and fenced off at both ends.

“There are yellow barriers and it’s taped off with police tape. There’s a hole and it’s quite a big one.”

United Utilities said they were looking into the problem.

Meanwhile, an operation to repair the massive hole left by a mineshaft in Egremont has continued over the weekend, with heavy machinery moved on to the site.

Copeland Council has said it will do whatever’s necessary to find the money to fix the damage left.

It had already allocated £150,000 to repairing the mineshaft at Howbank Road on the Smithfield estate after they were alerted to it 12 months ago.

The town sits on the Wyndham Mine network, and the council is working to prevent such collapses. Work had already begun to plug the iron ore mine, called Gilfoot Park No 2, when the gaping hole opened up on Wednesday causing a digger to collapse into it.

A council spokeswoman said: “We were already working on the site before this incident happened, and £150,000 had been allocated to that project.

“At this stage we don’t know if we are going to need any more money, but if we do then we will find it.

“If necessary, we will go back to Government and ask them for support, because if it needs to be done then safety comes first.”

It is not yet clear when those evacuated from their homes will be allowed to return.

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