Galliagh residents seek compensation

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Galliagh residents whose household appliances were damaged by a power surge are demanding to be compensated.

Bracken Park residents have been told the power surge was the result of work being carried out at a housing project being developed by Apex/North and West Housing at Fergleen Park.

The incident, which happened on November 23 last year when a power cable was damaged, resulted in irreparable damage to fridges, washing machines, tvs, microwave ovens and other electrical items.

Colm Clifford, whose 86 year-old mother-in-law Rebecca Drury’s new washing machine was broken by the surge, said she had been told by a sub contractor working no the project to claim from house insurance. “This is nonsense it’s been three months now and no liability has been admitted by anyone - I can assure that my mother-in-law did not cause the power surge, she did not cut the electricity cable.”

He said that Mrs Drury health alarm system - which was installed to monitor her health as she lives alone - was also “blown” by the surge.

“North and West Housing say it’s not their fault, the contractor says it’s not his fault and those affected have been left in the lurch.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan has called on Apex/North and West Housing and the contractor building the homes to meet with local residents in Bracken Park.

He urged them to “live up” to their responsibly and come to some arrangement with the residents to sort the problem out once and for all.

Councillor Hassan said: “I was contacted by residents in Bracken Park following a power failure in the area last November when a contractor carrying out building work hit power cables resulting over in over 20 homes being left without electricity. I have had 15 complaints from people left in the lurch.

“To date nothing has been done to compensate the residents, electrical white goods like fridges, microwave ovens, washing machines being damaged. We also received complaints that the contents of fridges and freezers were lost due to the power cut and people who have to keep medication in the fridges had to get new emergency prescriptions.

“I would call on Apex/North and West Housing and the contractor to get into direct contact with residents to try and resolve issues over damaged caused to these appliances and electricity junction boxes in people homes. These residents cannot be left out of pocket following a situation that was outside of their control,” he added.