Creggan black-out could have killed contractor

editorial image

A contractor has escaped injury after damaging a high voltage underground electricity cable in the Creggan area.

Around 1,900 homes and businesses in the Creggan were left without electricity shortly after 1.00p.m. on Wednesday following the damage.

The incident happened as a contractor excavating ground, hit and damaged a high voltage 11kV electricity cable supplying the local area.

Northern Ireland Electricity emergency crews responded immediately, arriving on site to assess the damage and all customers were restored to power within 90 minutes.

Fiona McClintock, NIE Customer Relations Manager for the area says this incident could have caused injury, or even death. “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.

“I am concerned about the inconvenience caused to homes and businesses in this busy area. With improved working practices, the inconvenience to local customers would be greatly reduced,” she said.

NIE currently offers contractors a wide range of advice and assistance to help them avoid underground cables including advice leaflets, videos and free maps and diagrams of the underground electricity network. Contractors should also check the NIE website for additional safety guidelines, follow HSENI guidance HSG 47 at all times and, if in doubt, contact NIE on 03457 643 643.