Thousands of pounds of damage has been caused to cars crushed against the ceiling in flooding in London.

Vehicles were damaged and families were left without water after a water pipe burst in Crayford, South East London.

Cars in an underground car park rose up and pressed against the ceiling when polystyrene insulation in the floor absorbed flood water and became so swollen it raised the floor by several feet.

As well as the damage to vehicles in Crayford’s Town Hall square development, there was also travel chaos as roads were flooded and closed off.

Some cars crumpled under the force when they were pushed into the concrete ceiling above them.

Residents in the apartment block said they were told if they removed their cars too quickly it could cause a gas explosion.

At least one car was totally written off in the incident. Resident Sadia Farzana Chitra said she had left her black Ford Fusion in one of the parking spaces and returned to find it squashed against the ceiling. “My car is crushed, the roof is gone, the ground has come up,” she explained.

“I had another of my neighbours with me and her car was okay, but we were told we cannot move it because there is a possibility with the pressure of the car there could be a blast because of the gas inside, or something. It can blow up the whole building.”

London Fire Bridge was called out with reports of flooding in the early hours of the morning.

Homes in 11 postcodes across south London and Kent found themselves without water as a result of the burst water main, including homes in Dartford, Bexley and the surrounding areas.

A spokesperson for the Gallions Housing Association, which has apartments in the building, said its staff were on site all day doing what they could to help the Thames Water authority, the fire brigade and the police after the burst water main.

They said all residents were safe and everyone had clean water. While the basement car park had suffered damage, there was no water in anyone’s home.

While most water supplies to the wider area had been fixed by Sunday afternoon, some residents were still without water or suffering from low pressure. Bottled water was given out to residents and Thames Water has apologised to anyone affected by the leak.