Long Lawford villagers left in the cold as National Grid cut through gas pipe

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AROUND 300 homes in Long Lawford unexpectedly lost their gas supply after workers accidently cut through a mains pipe.

National Grid workers were in Long Lawford on Wednesday last week working on the new Back Lane/Tee Tong Road junction.

They were working on what they thought was an extinct gas main and cut through it. But it was a private gas pipe not on the mains network and cutting through it sparked a major incident.

The gas main was immediately shut down, removing the supply to around 300 homes fed by the leaking pipe.

A National Grid Mobile Incident Control Unit was despatched to the scene, along with around 100 engineers tasked with not only repairing the leak but turning off the supply to each property. A spokesman for National Grid said: “We were working on a main when we lost supply. The main was severed. It was a private supply and wasn’t on our network. We didn’t evacuate and there wasn’t a huge gas escape fortunately. We were able to cap the main which had been cut.”

Resident Dave Brassington, who lives just off Tee Tong Road, said: “With temperatures as low as minus four the engineers worked through the afternoon and early evening until around 8pm when they started to reconnect houses to the gas supply.”

Resident Michelle Irvin praised National Grid for sorting out the problem. She said: “The guys from National Grid were lovely. They provided each household with two fan heaters and an electric hob if your cooker was gas for free.”

Neighbour Dan Young said: “It was freezing. I understand they visited every property but they had around 70 people out in the street, 20 vans and one of the biggest vans I’ve ever seen.”

National Grid said by around 11pm the majority of people had been reconnected but had to return the next day to visit the properties which had been empty the day before. The spokesman said: “The vast majority were back on that evening. The next day we had about 20 properties where no one had been at home.”