SOME 22,000 homes and businesses were hit by a massive power cut in Ashton, which also caused chaos on the local transport network on Tuesday afternoon.

Although power was restored after several hours, Electricity North West engineers worked through the night to restore power to a handful of businesses.

Traffic lights were knocked out and Metrolink trams were halted in the outage.

The company said the blackout was caused by another company damaging multiple underground power cables in the area.

It sent food vans to The Royal Oak pub to serve free hot food and drinks to customers without power.

The firm also said it contacted hundreds of customers on its priority service register who may have needed additional support.

Electricity North West incident manager Chris Fox said: “We've connected 13 large generators to the network to restore supplies and are working through the night to repair the damaged cables.

"We already have 30 engineers on site and we'll keep teams on site to ensure the generators continue to provide power until we can switch everyone back to the repaired network on.”