Damaged pipe sends 60ft geyser into air before flooding Tollcross

Water from a broken water-main was blasted 60ft in the air at Tollcross, Edinburgh.
Water from a broken water-main was blasted 60ft in the air at Tollcross, Edinburgh.
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IN theatre land it’s usually the luvvies who are gushing.

But yesterday it was contractors helping out with the refurbishment of Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre who stole the show as their handiwork resulted in a huge geyser shooting water 60ft over a city street in Tollcross.

Edinburgh’s answer to Old Faithful erupted from a damaged pipe at around 3pm, flooding small sections of Leven Street.

The impromptu spring sent torrents of water high above the nearby tenements before cascading down on to traffic below.

Vehicles had to negotiate large pools of water while many bemused passers-by captured the drama on camera and video.

It is understood the mishap was caused by workers from H&J Martin who were trying to channel water to the King’s Theatre which is undergoing a major refurbishment.

A spokesman for the construction firm said a standpipe that was being fitted “blew its top” which caused a jet of water to gush from the affected area.

He added that the situation was resolved within 15 minutes.

Sean Wood, 27, a local businessman who owns Tollcrust Sandwich Shop on Home Street, said his jaw dropped when he saw the force of the water shooting out from the pipe.

“One of my regulars came in and asked if I had seen the geyser in the street,” he said. “So I walked outside and saw this enormous gushing fountain of water, around 60ft high, towering over the surrounding tenements and cascading water all over Leven Street.

“It quickly began to flood down into Home Street and cars were having to navigate large puddles of water on the road. It didn’t affect my water supply and after about 15 minutes the pressure lowered and it petered out but there appeared to be some bemused-looking workmen scratching their heads.”

Another nearby shop owner, Mike Baillie, of Lupe Pintos Mexican Deli, said: “I had a customer come in from America to say he reckoned Old Faithful had erupted outside the shop.

“So I had a look outside and saw the water gushing high into the air – it was really quite spectacular.”

Workers from Siemens Traffic Controls wearing high visibility vests who were spotted in the area may have been trying to help stem the flow of water but were not responsible for the gusher.

A spokesperson said: “Siemens Traffic Controls is responsible for the maintenance of around 500 sets of traffic signals around Edinburgh. Siemens Traffic Control engineers happened to be working in the vicinity providing spares to traffic signals near this incident. The replacement of traffic signals does not involve any work on water mains.”

dmccann@edinburghnews.com