Contractor cuts power in Culmore

Around 3,300 homes and businesses in the Lenamore, Mount Vernon and Culmore areas of Derry were left without electricity on Monday evening following contractor damage to a high voltage underground cable.

Northern Ireland Electricity has once again warned all contractors working in the vicinity of underground electricity cables to follow strict safety procedures.

The incident happened at 6.45 p.m. as a contractor working on field drainage near Clonliffe Park, Culmore, hit and damaged an electricity cable supplying the local area.

NIE engineers responded, assessing the damage and restoring power to all customers by 7.50pm.

Fiona McClintock, NIE Customer Relations Manager for the area, says contractors should exercise extreme caution when excavating.

“Contractors must follow safety procedures when working in an area where there is a possibility electricity cables are present,” she said. “Always contact NIE in good time to request marked up drawings of the electricity network; in this case there were no marked up drawings on site. Contractors should exercise extreme caution when working in the vicinity of underground cables, using safe working practices such as digging trial holes and digging by hand to avoid any damage to or alteration of the location of the cable.

“Any incident of damage to the electricity network can cause inconvenience to customers in surrounding areas and place contractors at risk from injury. Our advice is clear, always follow safe working practices when operating heavy machinery near the electricity network.”