Shropshire firefighters on standby to assist with Whaley Bridge dam collapse

A team of Shropshire firefighters are on standby to assist an operation in Derbyshire where a dam has collapsed.

Residents of Whaley Bridge have been evacuated and told to make arrangements to stay elsewhere 'for a number of days' after heavy rain damaged the dam holding back the Toddbrook reservoir, leaving it at risk of collapse.

Emergency services are in a race against time to avert a potential disaster at the reservoir, which contains 1.3 million tonnes of water and sits above hundreds of homes and businesses in the High Peak district.

Crews from Prees Fire Station were put on standby at 1am this morning and could be called out at any time to help over the weekend.

The team could be required to take the heavy pumping unit to Whaley Bridge, according to Shrewsbury station manager, Craig Jackson.

Emergency workers and teams of engineers have been gathered on top of the concrete spillway on the embankment dam.

They are attempting to get the reservoir's water level down, to reduce pressure on the wall and allow repairs to begin.

Yesterday an RAF Chinook was drafted in to drop up to 400 tonnes of aggregate in a bid to stop more water getting in.

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