UPDATE: Homes due to have gas supplies restored

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Close to 1,000 homes in three villages affected by a major gas supply cut were expected to have been reconnected by tonight.

By Sunday morning National Grid said it had restored supplies to over 80 per cent of homes and businesses in Elswick, Great Ecclerston and Little Eccleston.

The company said engineers worked late into Saturday night to reconnect 880 properties and they were back on site on Sunday morning with all homes expected to have had supplies restored.

Mark Woolham, National Grid’s network emergency manager for the North West, said: “We would like to thank people for bearing with us during this difficult time.

“This has been a major operation and I’m glad to say most people are now back on gas.”

National Grid staff from as far as London were called to help efforts to reconnect the homes.

A gas main was damaged as part of a £1.3m road widening project at Windy Harbour, in Singleton.

The pipe, which supplies gas to all three villages, was damaged by a digger excavating the ground, leaving homeowners without gas and left using electric heaters and hot plates.

National Grid vehicles were parked at Elswick Village Hall yesterday as workers turned the site into an operations base.

Fan heaters and hot plates were made available by the company for affected householders to collect while work was undertaken to restore the gas supply.