Accrington homes hit after power cable 'blast'

The damaged pavement, at Westwood Street and York Street.

The damaged pavement, at Westwood Street and York Street.

First published in North West The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

AN underground electricity cable ‘exploded’ in Accrington, leaving 100 homes and businesses without power for more than three hours yesterday.

The pavement on the corner of Westwood Street and York Street was damaged following the incident, at around noon.

Properties in Whalley Road, Blackburn Road, and Hyndburn Road were left without power while repairs were carried out, while others experienced a short interruption.

Rob Burns uploaded a picture to Facebook and said there had been an ‘explosion’.

He said: “Electrics blew a hole in the ground on the corner of Mary Mags’. Alarms are going off but houses are okay.”

A spokeswoman for Electricity North West said: “The fault, which occurred on a piece of equipment underneath the pavement, caused external damage.

“We would like to assure customers that incidents of this nature are rare and we regularly inspect and maintain our underground network to ensure customers across the North West receive a reliable supply of electricity.

“Our engineers quickly arrived on site and restored power to the majority of customers by 3.30pm.”

Witnesses said traffic lights in Hyndburn Road failed, while rumours also spread of McDonald’s giving away free food after its power failed.

Backup generators kicked in at Asda, with a spokeswoman saying the store remained open, although it did close some of its chillers to preserve their contents.

She said: “We were trading as normal but the whole town centre was affected.”

Tesco spokesman Mark Thomas said backup batteries were also used at the Extra store in Eagle Street.

He said: “We had a power outage in our Accrington Extra store today for half an hour. Our customers were asked to leave for ten minutes.

“We were soon back up and running serving customers again.”

The power supply was uninterrupted at nearby Accrington Victoria Hospital, which also has back-up generators.

Nearby St Mary Magdalen’s Church of England Primary School, in Devonshire Street, was also unaffected, a spokeswoman said.

Firefighters from Accrington were called to the Globe Centre, in St James Square, after the cut triggered automatic fire alarms there.

A fire service spokesman said: “Our power went off too, but only for a second at dinner time.”

Nobody at McDonald’s could be reached for comment at the time of going to print.

Comments (2)

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9:19am Wed 18 Jun 14

woolywords says...

'A chain is only as strong, as it's weakest link', they say...
This incident epitomises that, where more more and more power is needed, along lines never designed to cope with such loads and the inevitable has happened, much as it has done, on many occasions, here in Blackburn.
Utility companies are far too busy making sure that their profits are seeing growth, year on year, to be bothered about replacing the worn out cabling infra-structure.
As ever, nothing will be done, until they are forced to, after someone is seriously hurt or even killed.
'A chain is only as strong, as it's weakest link', they say... This incident epitomises that, where more more and more power is needed, along lines never designed to cope with such loads and the inevitable has happened, much as it has done, on many occasions, here in Blackburn. Utility companies are far too busy making sure that their profits are seeing growth, year on year, to be bothered about replacing the worn out cabling infra-structure. As ever, nothing will be done, until they are forced to, after someone is seriously hurt or even killed. woolywords
  • Score: 7

5:56pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Owd Akela says...

The electric had been off for about 15 minutes when I heard the explosion and went out to see dust and smoke in the air. A woman walking along York Street commented that a manhole cover had been blown off at the top of Lupin Road area, I suggested that she inform the workmen about it. In all fairness the workmen were there within 30 minutes and the electric was back on after 2 1/2 hours snag was all the house alarms came back on at full volume!!!
The electric had been off for about 15 minutes when I heard the explosion and went out to see dust and smoke in the air. A woman walking along York Street commented that a manhole cover had been blown off at the top of Lupin Road area, I suggested that she inform the workmen about it. In all fairness the workmen were there within 30 minutes and the electric was back on after 2 1/2 hours snag was all the house alarms came back on at full volume!!! Owd Akela
  • Score: 3

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