WATER shot 100 feet into the air above Burnley today after a digger ruptured a mains pipe.

The fountain of water could be seen for miles this afternoon.

Workmen raced to plug the leak on the site at Towneley Gardens, off Oxford Road, where 121 houses are being built.

Residents watched in awe as the ‘rainbow coloured’ leak flowed for almost five hours.

It was eventually brought under control at around 1.30pm.

Dave Murray, who lives nearby in Outwood Road, said: “It was like something you would see in the Yosemite National Park in The States – there was water firing all over the place and the wind was blowing it on to the streets.

"It was amazing.”

Local ward councillor Karen Heseltine, who remained at the site in the early afternoon watching as workmen tried to contain the leak, said: “I told everyone to fill their baths with water as soon as I heard about it because I didn’t want people to run out.

“When we got down here it was very impressive – it kept changing colour from murky brown to the colours of the rainbow.”

Bosses at United Utilities said that the ‘huge geyser’ would result in poor water pressure and discoloured water for some residents.

County councillor Margaret Brindle said: “I just wanted to make sure there were no traffic or road issues.

"I have never seen anything like it before – it was pretty spectacular.”

A United Utilities spokesman said the water main was damaged by contractors and warned of low water pressure for customers in the Burnley Wood area.