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Cars Crushed in Underground Parking Garage

A broken 24-inch water main caused flooding in the Crayford neighborhood of southeast London in Sunday. While thousands of homes were without water service, the streets were flooded. An underground parking garage took on so much water that a floor expanded and rose several feet-  far enough to crush cars against the ceiling!

A number of vehicles crumpled after polystyrene insulation under the floor appeared to float or swell, forcing them into the concrete ceiling above.

Flood water rose several feet at the newly-built car park below a block of flats in Crayford, south-east London.

Residents said they had been warned if any of the cars were removed too hastily it could result in gas explosion.

No one was injured, but more than a dozen cars are thought to be affected, some badly enough to be considered totaled. Can anyone explain why a parking garage has several feet of polystyrene insulation in the floor while the ceiling is concrete? You can see a news report on the flood here. -via Arbroath


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I've heard of a gypsum & polystyrene bead blend being used both as thermal insulation and as a fire retardant building material before. Polystyrene foam by itself, on the other hand, is a big fire hazard.
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Polystyrene does not expand when wet. The newspapers were wrong. It must've been loosened and floated on the water. As to why there are several feet of it, that I can't answer. Maybe Hell itself was underneath and they needed to insulate the heat?
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