Homeowners’ shock at access bridge collapse

The broken bridge leading to the High Road bungalow. Photo: SG070412-113TW
The broken bridge leading to the High Road bungalow. Photo: SG070412-113TW
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A COUPLE have spoken of their shock at a bridge collapsing at their home and fracturing a gas main.

The drama sparked a seven-hour closure of one of South Holland’s busiest roads as police cordoned off the area at the Moulton end of Whaplode.

Motorists faced lengthy diversions as they were sent around the A16 and A17 while National Grid workers controlled a gas leak.

The incident on Thursday has resulted in the bungalow being cut off from High Road and without a gas supply.

The couple living there, who asked not to be named, said they have only been in the village for six weeks.

They described how a builder’s van, arriving to work on their conservatory, had driven over the bridge onto their driveway seconds before it appeared to break in half.

“The van had got three-quarters of the way into the drive and they heard a rumbling noise and the bridge broke,” they said.

“We heard the noise in the house. It was just a shock.”

The couple called National Grid for help as they begun to smell gas, who then called the police.

Officers closed the A151 and imposed a 50-metre cordon around the site just after 9.30am. Traffic, with the help of Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department, was diverted back on to the main A roads.

The couple said: “After a while we were told to leave the building because of the gas and we came back at teatime. We went to a neighbour.”

The couple were provided with electric heaters by National Grid to keep them warm overnight.

Emergency repair work was completed on the medium-pressure gas main shortly after 4pm, with a hole just remaining barriered off on the road.

National Grid spokesman Sarah Wilcox said: “No one was evacuated but some residents chose to leave their homes.

“There would have been quite a strong smell of gas.”

The builder’s van was taken off the drive through a field at the back and then taken into a neighbour’s property. Some trees had to be removed to make a route into the field.