Firms left out in the cold after power cut
8:50am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
A HUGE power cut bought businesses to standstill in Bolton.
Dozens of firms in the town centre were affected, including Bolton Town Hall and The Bolton News, while shops, banks and offices were reduced to emergency lighting during yesterday’s blackout.
The power cut lasted from 12.45pm until 1.30pm — the busiest time of day for many traders — affecting more than 2,600 customers.
Amy Taylor, who works at the Odessa cafe in Exchange Street, said: “Our power was out for 40 minutes and we ended up sending three members of staff home. We are usually really busy at that time but we were unable to serve any hot food, just cold sandwiches and we were making them in the dark.
“Luckily it wasn’t for too long so we just checked all of the food afterwards but by that time our lunch time rush was over.”
Approximately half of the shops in the Crompton Place shopping centre were also left in the dark.
Pearl Seth, sales assistant at Beaverbrooks, said: “We were starting to panic when the lights went off because we had customers coming in and the tills were down. It was really strange how half of the shops were affected across the town.
“Some customers were happy to take a seat and wait until we were back up and running.”
An Electricity North West spokeswoman said 2,697 customers were affected.
She added: “We sent engineers out straight away to repair the fault and it was over within half an hour.
“There was no third party involvement and it was just a fault with the underground cable.”
The fire service was called out to Travel Counsellors in Churchgate after its back up generator flooded the building with diesel fumes. Staff were evacuated from the building while fire crews from Bolton Central used fans to ventilate the building.
Ian Ainsworth, watch commander at Bolton Central, said: “The business started up its back-up generator following a power cut in the area. The generator kicked out diesel fumes which spread to the upper floors. The building was evacuated but fortunately there was no fire.”
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