Login Register
 °

Part of John Lewis in Exeter evacuated after pipe bursts on opening day

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

  • Photo of the flooding in the technology department taken by Kris Frank

  • Water gushing from the ceiling in Exeter's John Lewis. Photo by Paul Gubb

  • White pieces of paper cover the layout signs in John Lewis in an attempt to indicate they are closed

  • Customers are being forced to walk up the escalator after it stopped working

  • John Lewis on the morning of its official opening

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis02

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis03

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis04

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis05

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis06

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis07

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis08

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis09

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis10

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis11

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis12

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis13

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis14

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis15

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis16

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis17

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis18

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis19

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis20

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis21

  • Official opening of Exeter's John Lewis22

Comments (0)

A section of Exeter's new John Lewis store was evacuated today after a burst pipe flooded a section of the store.

Customers were evacuated from the lower ground floor and the top floor after the pipe burst at lunchtime.

The incident occurred just hours after the store officially opened at 9am this morning.

Our reporter Rich Booth was live at the scene and said the top floor and lower ground floor were both out of action to customers.

Related content

Store Manager Kate Connock confirmed the bottom floor and top floor, including the café and some toilets were closed due to the burst pipe. She blamed over-usage for the incident.

White pieces of A4 paper were used to cover the lower ground floor and floor 4 on the store’s layout signs.

By 4pm, the bottom floor, top floor and toilet facilities were reopen. The cafe was open but was not serving food.

A section of the bottom floor remained cordoned off while members of staff frantically used mops and buckets to clear some of the water.

As well as the burst water pipe, the ground floor to first floor escalator stopped working. A team are still trying to fix it, although customers are still able to walk up it.

At this stage it is not known how much damage the flooding has caused to the new five-floor superstore.

People who were caught up in the drama started posting news of the incident on Twitter:

Max Rawlings ‏@maxirawlings123 tweeted: "So the john lewis restraunt is now closed because there is no water, that's because its all coming from the roof downstairs!!!"

Josh Luxon ‏@JoshLuxon said: "The John Lewis restaurant is shut because there's no water.. that's because its all pouring out of the ceiling downstairs."

The incident comes on the day of the official grand opening of the store.

Around 200 people stormed the entrance as the ribbon was cut and the doors swung open at 9am.

Throughout the day, shoppers have poured into the store desperate to get their first glimpse of Exeter's newest and biggest store.

Despite the burst pipe and subsequent flooding, the remainder of the store remains open to the public.

For videos, photos and reaction to the store's official opening this morning, check out our comprehensive live coverage.

PHOTOS: Click here to view a bumper photo gallery from Exeter’s John Lewis.

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

 
 
 

MORE NEWS HEADLINES