The spray was 5 to 6 storeys high

The spray was 5 to 6 storeys high
FOUNTAIN: A water pipe burst after it was struck by a pile operator.

SINGAPORE - He was doing piling work for a planned covered walkway between two HDB blocks, and had already driven three metal poles into the ground.

Mr Suresh Selvan was about to drive the fourth and final pole at around 9am, when he realised that something in the soil beneath the pit he was working at was obstructing the pole.

"After I hit the thing in the ground, I saw water filling the pit slowly. It looked like someone had turned on the tap in a bathtub.

"That was when I realised that I might have hit a water pipe," said the 30-year-old.

He stopped his machine and moved aside as the water level in the pit rose quickly.

Mudwater also started spurting out of the pit. A few minutes later, an enormous fountain erupted from the pipe, spraying water towards the block of flats opposite.

"The spray was about five to six storeys high - I was very shocked. We quickly ran away from our worksite to avoid being hit by the spray," said Mr Suresh.

The incident happened on Wednesday at Punggol Central between Blocks 166A and 166B.

PUB personnel arrived on the scene and stopped the leak at about 10.30am. But to repair the pipe, they had to turn off the mains.

This led to a disruption in the supply of water on the lower floors of the two blocks.

Some 34 units from the first to fifth storeys of both blocks were affected. Residents living on the sixth storey and above were able to get water from the tanks on the roof. Both blocks are 19 storeys tall.

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