Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Canal leak floods family's home

The canal breach left a four mile stretch dry
The water poured out of the canal and into surrounding fields and a house

A canal has leaked on the border of north Shropshire and Wales causing thousands of gallons of water to flood surrounding fields and a nearby home.

Llangollen Canal began leaking near Bettisfield in Shropshire at about 0830 GMT on Tuesday, British Waterways said.

It said it was carrying out routine winter maintenance on the canal bank when the breach occurred.

It said it was investigating the cause of the breach and had moved the flooded family into temporary accommodation.

Phil Jones, a councillor for Bettisfield Council, said further heavy rain on Tuesday and Wednesday was making the flooding situation worse.

'Given way'

He said he thought badgers may have been responsible for the breach as they had been digging their setts in the embankment for "quite some time."

Badgers setts were thought to have caused part of the canal to collapse on 7 December 2004.

Mr Jones, who went down to view the flood damage earlier, said: "Yesterday morning as [British Waterways] were pile driving, the bank seems to have given way and there's a stretch of about three to four miles without any water in it now."

Mr Jones said there was a period of frantic activity when the canal flooded the fields as farmers struggled to move their livestock and equipment out of the way.

A car was also submerged, he added.

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