Londoners strip supermarket shelves with bottled water as the Thames water pipe breaks into flames, leaving 100,000 houses and schools without water

12-06-2019 19:06

SHOP shelves today were completely freed from bottled water when at least 100,000 properties in parts of London were up and dry after a breach.

Schools and businesses were forced to close stores in Hounslow, Hampton, Twickenham, and Kingston after the main line burst at the Thames Water plant in Hampton.

    This customer apparently did not take any risks in today's water crisis

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This customer apparently did not take any risks in today's water crisisPicture credits: @CabbagePatchPub
    This is all that remained in the water at a Waitrose supermarket in Twickenham

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This is all that remained in the water at a Waitrose supermarket in TwickenhamPicture credits: PA: Press Association

The company, which has around 10 million customers, said it is now working "hard to get water flowing again".

That night, an emergency water station was opened in Hampton after thousands of homes were supplied with little or no water.

The move took place after the panicky shoppers emptied the stores with tens of thousands of water bottles – some were seen loading dozens into shopping carts.

Photos were posted on social media, where the shelves were without drinking water, as people were left without supplies for hours.

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Many worried customers also twittered to ask when the authorities would issue emergency supplies.

Others quickly asked if they would receive compensation for the water supply failure.

A Twitter user who had just recovered from an operation asked if anyone knew when bottled water was being distributed. She added that she "can not carry heavy things and my local has no more bottles."

Kerry Watts also wrote: "Five hours without water – is it safe to bring a few bottles to the neediest?"

    In this supermarket shelf was only carbonated water

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In this supermarket shelf was only carbonated waterPicture credits: PA: Press Association
    Dozens of workers are trying to tackle the burst pipe at the Hampton Water Gate

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Dozens of workers are trying to tackle the burst pipe at the Hampton Water GatePicture credits: @ jonslinn / twitter
    Toilets had to be closed because no water was available

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Toilets had to be closed because no water was availablePicture credits: PA: Press Association

Residents in Whitton, Teddington and Isleworth were also affected, and the Ealing Council announced that some residents of the district also had no water.

Parts of Ealing, Hounslow, Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham were also affected by the pipe problem.

And tonight at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey had to be canceled.

That evening, Thames Water told Sun Online: "Repairs to the ruptured pipeline in our water treatment plants are in progress.

"The work we have done to bypass the pump and bring water from other areas into our piping network has resulted in the water supply returning to normal.

"It will take longer for some customers to get back water than others, since it takes some time for the water to flow through all parts of the network, but we expect the entire supply to be restored during the evening.

    Thames Water is the UK's largest provider of water and wastewater services

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Thames Water is the UK's largest provider of water and wastewater servicesPicture credits: PA: Press Association
    The shops were freed of their supplies of water bottles as the residents panicked

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The shops were freed of their supplies of water bottles as the residents panickedPicture credits: PA: Press Association

"We have a team of installers who are on standby to respond to air problems in the system that can often occur after the water has been shut off for a while.

"We have delivered hundreds of bottles of water to customers listed on our priority list, including those with medical and mobility issues. As a precaution, we have set up some bottled water collection points, the details of which are available on our website. We will leave it open until 9pm.

"We apologize greatly for the inconvenience we have caused today and the time it took to solve the problem, and we will conduct a comprehensive investigation to prevent the outbreak from reoccurring."

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Picture credits: twitter

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Picture credits: twitter

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Picture credits: twitter

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Picture credits: twitter

Thirty schools and two children's centers in Richmond and Hounslow have been closed, including the Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham, which no longer has toilet flushing and washing facilities in the kitchen.

The Surrey County Council also confirmed that six schools in Sunbury-on-Thames were closed because of the problem.

Teddington Memorial Hospital and the Teddington Health and Social Care Center are affected by the water crisis as all planned clinics and sessions have been canceled.

The Urgent Treatment Center has also been closed, although the infirmaries are still open at this time, the Hounslow and the Richmond NHS Trust said.

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said it was "unacceptable that so many people remain without water for several hours and have little or no information about when care will be restored".

He said he expected Thames Water to pay compensation to all those affected.

Hampton Court Palace said they were also affected by "water issues," but the music festival will take place this evening.

A palace spokesman said, "We have contingency plans and will be watching the situation throughout the day."

Thames Water is the UK's largest provider of water and sanitation services with annual revenues of approximately £ 2 billion.

The range extends from the eastern edge of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire in the west to London and the Thames Valley to the western edges of Essex and Kent in the east.

On average, 2.7 billion liters of drinking water are delivered to tens of millions of people each day.

    Empty shelves were displayed in this Tesco supermarket in Twickenham

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Empty shelves were displayed in this Tesco supermarket in TwickenhamPicture credits: PA: Press Association

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