THE GRIEVING brother of a man killed in a crash on the M65 has been hit by a devastating flood, causing thousands of pounds of damage.
Nasir Iqbal watched in horror as hundreds of gallons of water cascaded into the cellar of his Chunky Chicken fast food takeaway in Leeds Road, Nelson.
He said water gushed 'like a river' after a burst main sent water 500 metres down Bradley Hall Road into several streets.
The cellar of Chunky Chicken, used mainly for storage and office work, was almost completely submerged in water and staff said that the floodwater was at least waist-height.
Owner Nasir, who lost his older brother Mazafer Iqbal in a three-car-smash last weekend, said: “It’s just unbelievable. It just could not have come at a worse time.
“We’re still waiting for my brother’s body to be released to us so that we can bury him. Everyone is heartbroken and then this happens.
“I stood at the side entrance of the building and I was just looking at all this water flowing down the road.
“It was like a river, it really was. It was just horrendous.”
Three fire engines from Nelson, Rawtenstall and Burnley were called to the incident as well as the police, who cordoned off the area.
Fire crews worked for around five hours to pump the water out of the Chunky Chicken cellar.
Nelson Station Manager Chris Waring said: “We worked with partner agencies such as United Utilities to establish the root cause of the flood and prevent the escape of large quantities of water along the road.
“No domestic properties were affected and the emergency phase of the incident was successfully concluded at 4.45am on Sunday morning.
“United Utilities will fix the damaged main and water has now been re-established to affected properties.”
Nasir and Chunky Chicken manager, Arif Ahmed both praised the actions of the fire service, police and United Utilities who, they said, were on the scene very quickly.
However, they say that they were disappointed with the council who appeared to be 'disorganised'.
Arif said: “The council were just a bit useless, to be honest.
“The promised to bring sandbags but when they arrived, didn’t have any.
“Then another van turned up with more council employees but they didn’t have the sandbags either.
“After that, they left without saying anything and we haven’t heard from them since.
“If we’d have had some sandbags at that time, we may have been able to help prevent some of the water getting in in the first place.”
The surface of Bradley Hall Road has been damaged by the force of the water and the road is currently closed off at the junction with Leeds Road, across from Farmfoods.
Nasir’s brother Mohammed was killed alongside his best friend Mazafar Iqbal in the early hours of Saturday, July 26 morning on an unlit section of motorway between junctions 9 and 10.
The deaths led to renewed calls for the M65 to be illuminated again as campaigners fear that the decision to switch the lights off is a safety hazard that is costing lives.
Nasir said: “My brother was a wonderful man that always had time for everyone.
“You would never hear the word ‘no’ from his lips. If he was still here he’d have been helping out in anyway he could.”
Nasir had to close his takeaway on Saturday evening because of the flooding and the damage caused to the cellar meant that they were unable to reopen the following day.
He said: “I’m still not sure at the moment how much has been lost and what the cost of the damage is but it must be thousands of pounds.
“We had big cookers down there and machinery that is all ruined now and we had computers and telephones in there because that is where we run our calls and admin from.
“All the electrics have gone and we had pallets full of stock that is just going to have to be thrown away now. It’s devastating.”
Nasir and the rest of the Chunky Chicken team worked overnight to clear the cellar and get the restaurant in a state to be reopened yesterday.
The 12-inch pipe burst at around 10pm on Saturday as was repaired by lunchtime on Sunday, but the road will not be reopened until repairs have been completed.
A spokesperson for United Utilities said: "This was a very large burst and it did cause substantial damage to the road as well as flooding to a nearby business.
“We're very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and our flood recovery team will be visiting the business to assess the damage and put it right.
"Our engineers were on the scene on Saturday night and they managed to re-route water through other pipes in the area without customers' supplies being affected."