Hundreds of people were evacuated from a town in central England as a British military helicopter was called in Friday to prevent a reservoir dam from collapsing.
The Toddbrook Reservoir dam was feared to be on the verge of caving in following heavy rain, threatening the lives and homes of residents in Whaley Bridge.
One side of the dam spillway weakened when the panels started to come away on Thursday. A Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter lowered bags of aggregate into the damaged part of the dam wall on Friday, while 150 firefighters, deployed from around the country, have been pumping water out of the reservoir.
The British government has issued a “severe flooding — danger to life” warning for the area directly below the dam.
The reservoir, which contains around 1.3 million tonnes of water, dates back to the 19th century. Fast-flowing water had been rushing over the spillway before the collapse.