Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Flood traps motorists in Maryland


Helicopters could be seen hovering over the water

US rescuers using helicopters and boats have been battling to pull motorists from ice-cold floodwater after a huge water main burst in Maryland.

There were no reports of injuries despite an entire road near Washington DC being filled by raging water.

However, of about a dozen people rescued so far, several have been treated for hypothermia after being caught in temperatures as low as -7C.

It was not immediately clear what caused the pipe to burst.

The 66in (168cm) water main broke about 0800 (1300 GMT) on River Road, Bethesda, officials in Maryland said.

BBC map

A wall of water cascaded down the road, trapping motorists inside their cars in fast-flowing water at least 4ft (1.2m) deep.

Rescue crews pulled people from their vehicles using baskets lowered by helicopter.

At one stage, dramatic television pictures showed a mother and her child being pulled from a car amidst powerful torrents of water.

Both are now thought to be safe and well.

John White, a Washington suburban sanitary commission spokesman, said valves to shut off the water were underwater and he did not know exactly where the break had occurred.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific