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Cable mishaps throw 2,500 Dungannon houses into blackout

Hal Steele, NIE Safety Engineer, launches 'Safety Saves Lives', a new safe working campaign from Northern Ireland Electricity.

Hal Steele, NIE Safety Engineer, launches 'Safety Saves Lives', a new safe working campaign from Northern Ireland Electricity.

Accidents involving electricity cables have caused power cuts to a total of 2,689 Dungannon households in the past year.

A total of 15 overhead cables were brought down and a further 54 underground lines damaged in the local area, according to latest figures released by Northern Ireland Electricity.

Across Northern Ireland, the figures show a worrying rise in the number of accidental power cuts over the last year.

There were over 1,110 avoidable damages to the high and low voltage network, disrupting electricity supplies to over 51,300 homes, schools and businesses across the province.

In addition 17 people came into direct contact with the network, including a crane operator who brought down an 11,000 volt overhead line, cutting electricity supplies to over 1,800 homes.

Kevin McDowell, Head of Health, Safety and Environment at NIE said anyone working near the electricity network must be aware of the dangers and ensure working practices have a strong safety focus.

Kevin stressed: “Any contact with NIE equipment can result in a fatality and contractors, farmers and homeowners must follow safety procedures to keep themselves and all those on site safe.

“The rise in both the number of damages and the number of customers inconvenienced by these damages is disappointing, and indicates a level of complacency on work sites which puts everyone at risk.

“There are important precautions that everyone working in the vicinity of electricity equipment should take. Contractors must be aware of the location of utility services at their work site before they start work - electricity, gas, water and telecommunications.”

 

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