Hospital declares a major incident as high-pressure water pipe bursts ‘due to electrical power surge’ and sprays water across corridors – with medics ‘prioritising water for Covid patients’

  • Leak occurred at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Hampshire 
  • A dramatic video showed water pouring at high pressure from corridor ceiling
  • It happened on Friday morning but was fixed later in the day, spokesman said 

A hospital declared a major incident and cancelled all outpatient appointments following a ‘significant water leak’ which may have been caused by an electrical power surge. 

The problem occurred at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on Friday morning.

A dramatic video showed water pouring at high pressure from the ceiling of a corridor after a pipe is believed to have burst following an electrical power surge. 

A statement from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust which was posted on social media just after 6pm on Friday said: ‘This morning (7 Jan) we declared a major incident following a significant water leak within clinical areas of the ground floor. 

‘The water supply was turned off to a significant portion of our site while the cause was identified and infrastructure challenges rectified.’


Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth declared a major incident and cancelled all outpatient appointments following a ‘significant water leak’. A dramatic video showed water pouring at high pressure from the ceiling of a corridor

All outpatient appointments on Friday morning were cancelled as a result of the leak.

The trust added earlier that all virtual appointments, along with those for kidney dialysis and chemotherapy treatment for cancer, would continue to go ahead. 

A hosptial source told The Telegraph that the leak had left medics having to prioritise water for coronavirus patients and medics were told to avoid using sinks to wash their hands and instead utilise alcohol gel. 

They said staff were told to use antibacterial wipes, spray and alcohol gel to clean their hands and avoid using the sinks and sluices if they were treating non-Covid patients. 

A statement from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust which was posted on social media just after 6pm on Friday said: ‘This morning (7 Jan) we declared a major incident following a significant water leak within clinical areas of the ground floor. ‘The water supply was turned off to a significant portion of our site while the cause was identified and infrastructure challenges rectified’

The surge may have caused the hospital’s water pump’s to become overloaded, meaning that one of them burst. 

Two fire crews were sent to help deal with the issue.  

The hospital’s Twitter statement on Friday evening added that they had been able to ‘stand down’ the major incident after ‘working throughout the day’ to repair the leak.

They told patients due to attend appointments tomorrow to turn up as usual and said no one had been harmed following the leak. 

The trust’s chief executive, Penny Emerit, said: ‘I would like to thank our incredible teams for their hard work in keeping all patients onsite safe and restoring all infrastructure and clinical services. 

‘Throughout the incident, we have worked closely with our local health and social care partners, who acted quickly to offer help and support throughout, so we would like to share our thanks with them too. 

‘I would also like to thank our local communities for their patience and understanding.’

‘We know having an appointment or procedure delayed isn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do given the situation we were in. 

‘Please continue attending appointments and we will keep you updated with any news or information from the Trust through our website and social media.’ 

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