Thousands without water in Berkshire after pump fails

Water collection
Image caption Thames Water has set up bottled water collection points in the affected areas

Up to 5,000 properties in Berkshire have been without water for hours after a pump failed.

Thames Water said the incident began at around 06:00 BST on Thursday and affected people in the villages of Mortimer and Burghfield.

It said a pump at a booster station stopped working and caused water pressure to drop.

The company says it is sorry for any disruption and repair work should see services return on Thursday evening.

Thames Water staff have set up water stations in the villages, giving out free bottled water to those affected.

Image caption Bottled water is being given out to those affected

"We've been working all day on the repair and that has been successful, so the pressure should start returning to the network", said Stuart White from Thames Water.

He told BBC Radio Berkshire: "There will be a full investigation into what happened, we will do everything to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Earlier, the Thames Water website crashed as people looked for updates.

Villagers also took to Facebook and Twitter to keep track of the situation.

Kevin Bushell, who was picking up water at a station in Mortimer, said: "It's been quite an annoying day. I'm OK because I can pick up this water but there are some elderly people who can't.

"I haven't been able to shower all day."

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