London

Lee High Road sinkhole-trapped coach pulled clear

The scene of the sinkhole in Lewisham Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Thames Water officials are continuing to work on the road repair

A coach carrying dozens of tourists that became stuck in a sinkhole when a water main burst beneath a London road has been pulled clear.

Repairs have also begun in Lee High Road, near Lewisham, the Met Police confirmed, although the road remains shut.

A major incident was declared by police when the main burst on Saturday night.

Some people were moved to a temporary shelter while many local residents were left without any water supply.

Thames Water apologised and said the repairs were "complicated".

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The coach, which was carrying 90 passengers, was trapped in the hole for nearly 24 hours

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it had assisted 40 tourists from the stranded coach which was carrying 90 people, while 40 local residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

A Lewisham Council spokesman said the tourists were later put on another coach to continue their journey without needing to stay the night.

The spokesman for LFB said six fire engines had been sent to the scene, where 50 shops and businesses had been affected.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The coach became trapped in a sinkhole on Lee High Road on Saturday evening

Thames Water said the burst 60cm (24in) pipe had affected supplies for people living in large parts of south-east London, including those in SE3, SE10, SE12 and SE13.

The water company said it had "successfully re-routed the water", as the pipe could not be repaired before the coach was removed.

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Media captionFootage captured by one resident showed water flowing along Lee High Road

Foyeg Ahmed Kazi, who runs a restaurant in Lee High Road, said he had been told to remain closed until repairs had been made to the pipe, which he said had cost him a lot of money.

About 3,000 homes were at one point thought to be without a water supply and bottled water was being made available at a number drop-off points.

At about 18:00 GMT on Sunday, Thames Water tweeted it had "completed some works on the network" and those affected should see their supplies returning to normal.

Lee High Road remains closed, with police warning it will be shut "for some time".

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