Hundreds of gallons of water were pumped out of a 60in water main on to a 300-yard stretch of the A406 North Circular Road in London.
Scotland Yard said the worst-affected area was between the main Hanger Lane intersection and Abbey Road bridge, NW10, where an entire subway section of the road was under 25ft of water. Disruption could continue for days.
Traffic was badly affected for much of the day. Nick Tennant, a spokesman for Thames Water, said: "With 30,000 miles of pipes, it would be very hard to pinpoint the cause of any particular pipe burst." The main causes of mains bursts were changing weather conditions and traffic movement.
He said the clear-up operation would take several hours and the road was not expected to open until this morning at the earliest. "We will have to get rid of the water before carrying out repair work and once the water is gone and the main is fixed, the road, which will be ruptured, will have to be put back," he said.
A spokeswoman for the London Fire Service said that even though four pumps were being used, it would take a considerable time to clear the water.Reuse content