Over 1,000 homes in Cookstown left without power after contractor hits cable


Around 1,200 customers in Cookstown were left without power in the early hours on Friday morning following contractor damage to an underground cable.

The incident happened as a contractor working on a new Astroturf football pitch damages the electricity cable while laying curbs.

The damage was not reported to Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) at the time and the cable failed at 2.15am.

NIE emergency crews, responded immediately, arriving on site to assess the damage and restore supplies to all customers by 3.35am.

Christine Kelly, NIE Customer Relations Manager, once again urged contractors working in the vicinity of underground cables to follow safety precautions prior to work commencing. “Fortunately no-one was injured in this incident, but any contact with live electricity equipment puts those on site at risk.

“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 should be reported to NIE immediately to help prevent these disruptions to electricity supplies.

“With better working practices the number of these incidences and the inconvenience to our customers could be dramatically reduced.”

NIE currently offers contractors a wide range of advice and assistance to help them avoid underground cables including advice leaflets, videos and maps and diagrams of the underground electricity network. Contractors should also check the NIE website nie.co.uk for additional safety guidelines and advice.