POLICE are hunting “mindless” yobs who used an axe to smash a water pipe at a city high-rise and flooded dozens of flats.
Residents in the West Pilton block looked on helplessly on Monday night as water and glass flooded down the stairwells and liftshafts.
The vandals, who may have been teenagers, fled after using an axe and crowbar to break through a wooden board on the eighth floor of Northview Court, in Pilton, before smashing the pipes in what police described as a “mindless act of destruction”.
The council said more than 60 residents were affected, with the lifts in the 16-storey block switched off as the water level rose.
Laura Anderson, 69, who has lived in the block since it was built 47 years ago, said: “I’ve been really happy here. I’ve felt safe, but with my health getting worse and now this I might have to look into getting a move.
“The neighbours were out all night trying to sweep the water back and I’ve got a washing machine full of towels after the water got into my hall.
“There have been water problems before because the way it was built, pipes go from the top floor and run all the way down. So if flats above have problems, we all do.”
Residents said there were often issues with youngsters hanging around landings and stairways, but problems were rarely so extreme.
The council, which owns the building, brought in emergency bottles of water for residents, while staff attempted to clean up the muddied floors.
The water supply was restored and the lifts switched on at around 2.30pm yesterday.
Jamie Lloyd, 27, who has lived on the fifth floor for around a year, said: “Opening your front door was like walking out into the rain.
“It was coming through the ceiling, through the cracks in the doors, all over.”
He added that when he opened his door he saw a teenager standing in the corridor grasping a crowbar.
“He seemed to be looking at what he’d done, how much damage he’d caused, then shouted something about the police coming after him,” he said.
Another man, 24-year-old Thomas Thomson, said: “All you could see was water and glass flowing down the stairs.
“There’s a step up into these flats, if that wasn’t there the water would have got inside.”
A police spokesman said any witnesses who saw anything suspicious should contact police immediately.