A BURST water main tore a road apart as residents watched hundreds of gallons gush down the street.
Lynwood Avenue in Darwen was plunged into chaos after the burst this morning.
The road surface rose almost a foot, leaving a scene ‘like an earthquake’.
Pupils from nearby St Cuthbert’s Primary School, were sent home because the burst cut off their water supply.
Scores of homes in the area were also temporarily affected as the pipe gushed water for around two hours.
United Utilities engineers isolated the faulty pipe and switched it off.
They diverted supplies to ensure all water was restored by the afternoon.
A United Utilities spokesman said: "The first job for our engineers is to fix the damaged pipe, and then to move onto repairing the road itself.
"Unfortunately, there has been significant damage to the highway, due to the force of the burst, meaning the road the closure could be in place for up to a fortnight. This is a worst case scenario,
and we'll be doing everything we can to return things to normal as quickly as possible."
The road will be closed for at least two weeks from its junction with Blackburn Road to Ribble Avenue and Hartington Road, as repair works are carried out.
St Cuthbert’s is set to reopen.