Thames Water Boss Explains How Staff Destroyed The Whitechapel Fatberg By Hand

4 November 2017, 09:20

The people of Whitechapel have Chris to thank.

A massive 'fatberg' - made of oil, fat, nappies, wipes, sanitary products and condoms - has been removed from a London sewer.

It took nine weeks for Thames Water to blast and hack away at the ghastly blockage, which was longer than two football pitches.

Thames Water's Alex Saunders told LBC the last stretch needed brute force and shovels to dismantle the "rock hard" fatberg and it was "gut-wrenching work".

He said the people of Whitechapel had Chris to thank, one of the eight people sent into the sewer to clear the plug.

"We have these really high pressure jets. It's a bit like key hole surgery, we send them down.

"The problem with these fats, oils and greases and sanitary items they mix together form concrete like plugs, these fatbergs in the sewer.

"It's so hard that not even these jets could get through it. So the likes of Chris were down there chiselling away with their shovels.

"Some days only getting a metre or two through it. It's really hard work. Imagine the sort of kit a firefighter would wear: full breathing kit, hard hats, waders up to your waist, then you go into a cramped sewer, you couldn't even stand up in this one, really, really hot like a pizza oven."

Hear the full harrowing clip at the top of this page.