Bank evacuated amid fears of ceiling collapse

Water gushes under front doors as customers are ushered to safety.

Update 9am, Dec 21 (Fri): A spokesman for Natwest reported the bank is open for business as usual this morning.

CUSTOMERS and staff have been evacuated from Natwest Bank in Barnstaple amid fears the ceiling was caving in due to a water leak.

Around half a dozen customers were ushered out of the building at 41 High Street at around 9.45am today (Thursday).

Customer Colin Shaddick told the Gazette: “I was talking to the bank manager when I heard this loud rumbling noise.

“There were a few buckets around the place and I thought they must have a small leak but he said ‘quick, we better get out in case the ceiling falls down’.

“I thought he was joking but the water was coming through the ceiling and by the time we got out the water was lapping around the soles of our shoes.

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“They closed the doors and even though water was coming under the front door people were still trying to get into the bank.”

A spokesman for the bank said the problem had occurred due to the heavy rainfall.

After being closed all day today, he said all being well overnight, the bank would be open for business again tomorrow.

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