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Homes suffer in power cable crisis

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NEARLY 20 homes and an old people's home suffered a power cut after workers building a fence accidentally struck the underground electricity cable.

Six homes and the Woodcote Grove House care home were cut off when the cable was hit and a further 11 customers had their supply cut so the line could be safely fixed.

Gordon Bell, course manager at Woodcote Park Golf Club, confirmed he was with a small team digging next to The Mount to install fence posts when they unexpectedly struck the cable shortly before 9.30am on Tuesday last week.

He added: "We cordoned off the area and phoned the electricity board. No one was hurt.

"We have moved it [the fence] now and marked out where the cable runs."

A spokesperson for Woodcote Grove House, a secluded home next to the golf club, confirmed parts of the home had been affected.

She said: "The cut in the power supply did affect us in that it knocked out one of our lines but this was restored within a couple of hours."

A spokesman for the UK Power Networks confirmed power had been interrupted to six customers.

She said engineers switched off supplies to a further 11 customers just before noon to repair the lines - reconnecting supplies at 3.25pm.

She urged anyone considering doing building work to contact them beforehand and find out the whereabouts of electricity cables.

She said: "We are committed to providing a reliable supply of electricity and, in a bid to reduce the number of power interruptions caused by contractors damaging underground cables, actively encourage any firm undertaking work to contact us in advance for advice and free cable-locating maps, to help them avoid our cables."

One nearby resident said the workers appeared to have had "a lucky escape."

He said: "They hit the 250-volt cable rather than the 1000-volt, which is just below. When we realised what had happened, we realised it could have been much worse."


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