THE embankment on the canal near to Nantwich Road in Middlewich has collapsed over night. 

Pictures show a large part of the embankment over the aquededuct which carries the Shropshire Union Canal over the River Wheelock has collapsed. 

The Canal and River Trust are on the scene and are at work making the area safe. 

A spokesman told the Guardian that it was first feared that the aqueduct had collapsed, but on further inspection, it is thought that the aquedect is safe and in tact. 

The Canal and River Trust also reiterated that the canal had not failed. It has been dredged from neaby locks. 

Boats along the dry canal can be seen stranded.

A short section of embankment containing the Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch, has collapsed overnight, causing water to drain from the canal into the river below.

A statement from Canal and River Trust said: "Canal & River Trust emergency engineers were on site all night dealing with the breach, and the canal is currently drained between Stanthorne Lock and Wardle Lock, on the south side of Middlewich town centre, a distance of just over three quarters of a mile. The towpath has also been closed along this stretch.

"We believe only one householder may be affected, with minor damage to their garden.

"Between 15 and 20 boats are within the drained section and The Trust will be contacting all the owners today with offers of assistance.

"The Middlewich Branch connects the Trent & Mersey Canal just south of Middlewich town to the Shropshire Union Canal at Barbridge Junction, a distance of about 10 miles. Constructed in 1827, it is nearly 200 years old.

"Today the Trust’s engineers are on site trying to understand the cause of the breach and will be making an initial assessment regarding how to progress repairs, likely timescales and costs."