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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Burst sewerage pipe blasts hole in car park

IT WAS “extremely fortunate” that nobody was hurt when a burst water pipe blew a hole in a car park, it has been claimed.

A sewerage pipe which runs underneath Seascale foreshore car park exploded on Sunday afternoon, creating a large hole in the surface.

A car that was parked directly over the burst was lifted into the air as a jet of sewerage water shot up from underground. It had to be towed from the scene.

David Moore, a Seascale councillor, said that it was lucky that the usually busy car park was so quiet when the incident occurred.

“A wet and windy Sunday afternoon was probably the best time for this to happen,” he said. “Had it been a nice sunny day, or had it been during the week when people park there to do their shopping, it could have been much worse. In that sense, we have been extremely fortunate.”

The burst pipe carries sewerage from the wastewater treatment plant in Seascale, under the car park and out to sea.

Coun Moore said: “We heard the sirens, and the noise of the burst had attracted people to the scene. It seems that a big tide causing extra pressure, combined with a weak place in the pipe, caused it to burst.

“Although this is treated sewerage and relatively clean, it’s still not the type of thing you want spread all over a car park.”

The car park is owned by Copeland Council and the pipe by United Utilities, who are now repairing the damage. The car park has reopened for users, although the affected area has been fenced off while engineers repair the damage. UU says this could take up to a week and apologised for the disruption caused.

However, Coun Moore says the incident is a “cause for concern”. He added: “As a community we will be asking United Utilities how this has been allowed to happen, and seek assurances that this could never happen again.”

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