London

'Startled pig' hinders water pipe repairs and causes train disruption

Thames Water engineer and pig Image copyright Thames Water
Image caption The valve to cut the water was in a field which Pickle the pig called home

A "startled pig" confronted engineers as they repaired a burst water main in London, before it was coaxed away with a bag of crisps.

The pipe burst in Lamberts Road, Surbiton, damaging nearby railway equipment, which caused train delays.

Thames Water said the valve to cut the water was in a field occupied by a pet pig called Pickle and engineers were concerned about disturbing it.

It is not known what flavour crisps were used to entice the pig away.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The water main burst beside the railway track in Surbiton, south-west London

Damage caused by the flooding of tracks and signalling equipment meant limited trains were able to run along the line.

Network Rail said engineers had inspected the railway embankment and all tracks have been reopened.

Thames Water said engineers "were quickly on site" to deal with the burst 120cm (48in) pipe, but they had been unable to initially carry out the work because of Pickle's reaction.

A spokesperson said the animal "wasn't particularly angry or aggressive" but "startled that we were in his field".

Earlier reports said the animal was "acting aggressively".

The pet was coaxed away "to make sure both he and our engineers would stay safe", they added.

Image copyright Thames Water
Image caption Pickle was not thought to be aware of the drama he had caused

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