NIE warns contractors to dig with care

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A contractor has escaped injury after damaging a high voltage underground electricity cable in Coleraine.

Around 1,400 homes and businesses to the west of Coleraine were left without electricity shortly after 11.45am on Monday, February 16.

The incident happened as a contractor, excavating ground for a new housing development on the Greenhall Highway, hit and damaged an 11,000 volt electricity cable supplying the local area.

NIE emergency crews, responded immediately, arriving on site to assess the damage and restoring supplies to all customers by within two hours.

Work to replace the damaged cable continued through the afternoon.

Christine Baker, NIE Customer Relations Manager for the area says this incident could have caused injury to those on site. “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.

“Colour copies of NIE’s marked up drawings, which show the location of underground cables, should be on site at all times.

“I am also concerned about the inconvenience caused to homes and businesses over lunchtime.”

NIE offers contractors a wide range of advice to help them avoid underground cables including advice leaflets, videos and free maps and network diagrams.