Services at Lagan Valley Hospital, Lisburn have been severely disrupted following a flooding incident early this morning.
The Hillsborough Road was closed between Sprucefield and Governors Road for several hours due to the flooding, caused by a burst water main within the hospital grounds.
The incident affected the hospital, neighbouring residential properties, a food business and a local nursing home.
A spokesperson for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust confirmed that surgeries sceduled to take place at the hospital today have been cancelled.
“A burst water main at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn has meant cancellation of all surgery and endoscopy procedures in the hospital today,” she said. “We are in the process of contacting patients to let them know.
“Contingency plans are in place and patients are being provided with bottled water for drinking. We have water storage tanks on site and NI Water is providing additional tankers to allow all other services in the hospital to operate normally, so that patients can be looked after appropriately.
“NI Water is working to resolve the situation as soon as possible.”
NI Water said the leak has been located and isolated, but work has still to be carried out to repair the damaged pipe.
A spokesperson said: “NI Water is attending a burst water main on the grounds of the Lagan Valley Hospital Estate in Lisburn. NI Water staff, along with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, worked through the night to minimise and prevent further damage; however, the basement of the hospital and residential properties were affected. Work has commenced to repair the main; however, the burst is located in a difficult position with other services nearby that will slow the progress of the repair.
“NI Water is working closely with hospital staff to minimise the impact on hospital services whilst the repair is being carried out.”
A spokesperson for the NI Fire and Rescue Service said crews, including a Specialist Rescue Team from Central Fire Station in Belfast, were called to the incident shortly after 2:45am.
“Fire crews were called to a report of a ruptured water main. The basement of River House at Lagan Valley Hospital, a nursing Home, a Chinese restaurant and five residential properties were all flooded. Fire crews worked hard throughout the early hours of the morning to pump out an estimated 10 million litres of water from the area. The incident was dealt with at 10:41am,” she said.
Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council activated its Emergency Plan and opened the Lagan Valley LeisurePlex for welfare provision for affected residents.
The Hillsborough Road was closed to traffic for several hours, but reopened shortly before 11am.