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Seven-hour power cut leaves homes on Barnsbury Estate without electricity, heating and hot water

PUBLISHED: 13:16 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 09 October 2018

Contractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver Barnes

Contractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver Barnes

Archant

More than 130 homes on the Barnsbury Estate were left without electricity, gas and hot water on Monday – some for seven hours.

Contractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver BarnesContractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver Barnes

Power outages in Molton House and neighbouring blocks began at 11am. People who live there were told by resident organisation BELMO it would be “fixed by 2pm”, but it stretched into the evening for some.

“It’s freezing,” said one woman, Yvette, who lives on the seventh floor and asked us not to print her surname. “It’s an old building so it doesn’t retain any heat. There’s no hot water, no gas either, nothing.”

She said information from BELMO about the outage had been minimal and there had been “no detail whatsoever”.

BELMO told us it “did not contact all residents as not everyone experienced a power loss”, but will conduct a review of whether the information provided to residents could have been improved.

Contractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver BarnesContractors on the Barnsbury Estate on Monday. Picture: Oliver Barnes

Others experienced similar frustrations, which were made worse by the lack of electricity. Some were forced to go to a nearby Costa to charge their phones to contact estate management.

Shantelle, who lives on the fourth floor and also asked us to withhold her surname, was anxious about how she was going to feed her children.

“People are concerned about the shopping and the food they’ve got in their refrigerators going off,” she said during the power cut. “I’ve just given my kids a sandwich – I can’t really afford a takeaway. I don’t know what I’m going to give them for dinner.”

The power was eventually restored for the final flats at 6.20pm, having been fixed in others three hours earlier.

A UK Power Networks spokesperson said: “UK Power Networks engineers have restored power to 132 properties in Islington after a fault on the underground electricity network at 10.30am on Monday.

“Engineers worked quickly and safely to carry out the repair.

“The majority of customers were back on by 15.20 and the rest by 18.17.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and remind customers that the latest information on power cuts is available on our website and buy ringing us on 105.”

Follow Oliver Barnes and Mike Bedigan on Twitter.

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