Cars crushed in freak flooding accident in London

Vehicles forced up into car park ceiling after deluge causes layer of polystyrene under floor to expand

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(Image credit: Sadia Farzana Chitra/Twitter/PA Wire)

More than a dozen cars were crushed against the concrete ceiling of a London car park on Sunday after a deluge of water caused a layer of polystyrene to swell, pushing the vehicles upwards.

The incident was caused by a burst water pipe, which flooded the residential car park in Crayford, south-east London. London Fire Brigade said it was called to the scene at 3:21am following reports of flooded roads.

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The water soaked into a layer of polystyrene under the floor, which subsequently expanded and lifted the vehicles several feet, crushing them against the ceiling.

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Up to 16 cars are said to have been damaged in the incident, which also left a nearby retail park flooded and numerous homes without water.

Owners were reportedly told the vehicles could not be removed "too hastily" for fear of sparking a gas explosion, while some were warned the cars had been written off, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The owner of a Ford Fusion said: "My car is crushed, the roof is gone, the ground has come up - it is a bad architectural design."

She was worried her car insurance might not cover the claim, adding: "We are in really bad shape."

A spokesman for Thames Water apologised for the disruption, saying it was an "extremely difficult repair" because of the location and depth of the pipe. Residents in the area continued to complain of low water pressure or no water yesterday afternoon.

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