A fire hydrant has burst during George St redevelopment works in Dunedin, sending water four storeys into the air.
The incident happened outside Farmers on George St where contractors were working as part of the $28 million upgrade to the central city.
The geyser of water flowed for about half an hour, from about 3.20pm to about 3.50pm and was visible from much of central Dunedin.
The water entered Farmers, apparently through the roof of the building.
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Staff could be seen rushing to move stock in the cosmetics department.
Crews of workers clad in hi-visibility vests could be seen scrambling to stop the flow.
In one unsuccessful attempt, crews attempted to use a digger's bucket to catch the water and stop it from spewing skywards.
Isaacs Construction chief executive Jeremy Dixon said crews worked to shut the water off as fast as possible.
It appeared that a fire hydrant had been clipped somehow, he said.
Early last month a 34-year-old woman was taken to Dunedin Hospital in a serious condition after getting an electric shock while working on the upgrade of Dunedin's main shopping street.