Oxford residents flee flood waters from burst water main

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Media captionThe BBC's Tom Turrell: "You had the fire service taking people away in boats and helping them down from first floor windows on ladders"

Homes in Oxford have been flooded after a water main burst.

Thames Water said a 24in (60cm) water pipe burst just after 05:00 BST in Normandy Crescent near Cowley affecting 50 properties.

Fire and rescue crews helped 25 people leave their homes and rescue belongings.

Becky Trotman, spokeswoman for the company, confirmed the floodwater had been pumped away by 18:00 and said residents could access their homes.

She said a support vehicle for residents will be in the street until 19:00 and will return at 08:00 on Wednesday.

Emergency planning teams from Oxfordshire County Council supported residents at an evacuation centre set up at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, but this was being "wound down" towards the evening, Thames Water confirmed.

'Our responsibility'

Ms Trotman said the water company was working with the council to find alternative accommodation for residents who live in 23 properties.

Car hire was also being arranged for those whose vehicles were affected.

Excavation work to get to the burst pipe, which is 12ft (3.7m) to 15ft (4.6m) underground, will begin on Wednesday.

Ms Trotman said: "We understand some customers will be upset and frustrated.

"What's happened here is horrendous.

"This is our pipe, our responsibility, and we are doing all we can to put things right."

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