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Outcry after water mains burst disrupts Belfast Christmas pub trade

Northern Ireland Water has restored water to Belfast businesses after a mains burst on Wednesday.

Belfast businesses were forced to close due to a lack of water on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

A number of burst mains affected pubs and restaurants near the city hall and caused traffic chaos as emergency repair work was carried out in Cromac Street with the closure of one lane.

In a statement Northern Ireland Water said: "NI Water can now confirm it has successfully completed repairs to a number of burst mains in the Belfast city centre area.

"The majority of affected properties have now had supply restored and it is believed that all affected pubs and restaurants are included within this.  It is possible that there may still be some water discolouration, although this should clear in the near future.

"Squads have now completed repairs at City Way in the Sandy Row area, with supplies restored at approximately 6:30pm.  Crews are making progress in the Cromac Street area, and will be on site in the Grosvenor Road area later this evening as a result of traffic restrictions. NI Water repair crews will remain on the ground until restoration of all supplies later this evening.

"We have made proactive contact with customers throughout this incident in order to provide as much information as possible.

"Restoring customers’ supply has been our first priority throughout this incident.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and customers should contact Waterline on 03457 440088 or log on to niwater.com for further updates."

Earlier Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said "This is now the most critical time of year for the hospitality sector and we need this issue resolved and the supply restored as swiftly as possible.

"The likes of pubs and restaurants in the area are booked out with Christmas customers and evening-shift staff lined up."

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