Caddington power outrage

More than 1,200 homes in Caddington near Luton in Bedfordshire have been without gas since Saturday night after a water main burst and damaged gas pipes.

People in the village were also left without electricity after switching on emergency heaters supplied to them causing the grid to overload.

National Grid have helped over 300 vulnerable customers including the elderly and sick. Sarah Wilcox is from National Grid she has this message for residents in Caddington: "Please if you are off gas do not turn on your gas or use your gas appliances until an engineer has visited. It is extremely important from a safety perspective that you wait until an engineer has come to your property."

Chairman of Caddington Parish Council Tony Hanson: "Anybody who hasn't got anywhere to go the sport and social club will be open all night so is the emergency rest centre down at the scout club, yes it's going to be uncomfortable but we can cope. I personally don't have any gas or electricity but hey you put a few more layers on."

An incident room has been set up in Caddington Sport and Social Club in Manor Road to supply people affected with refreshments, hot meals and alternative heating facilities like fan heaters, microwaves and hot plates.

Engineers from National Grid have been working round the clock locating damaged pipes and carrying out repairs.

Five streets in the village are also without electricity and two emergency generator has been brought in.

Matthew Tomlin lives in Caddington he's been without gas or electricity: "I've managed to set a barbecue up in the front garden for the locals, if there is anything in their freezers they need to cook as obviously it's going to defrost they can come along and cook on it until I've run out of gas."

Local Councilor Richard Stay said "This is an awful thing to happen, especially so close to Christmas, but the community response has been fantastic."

If you have any enquiries or concerns call National Grid on 0845 605 6677. If you smell gas or if you have only recently lost your gas supply call the emergency number 0800 111 999.

National Grid and Veolia Water are appealing for any registered Gas Safe engineers to help repair appliances. If you are an engineer available at short notice contact Gary Booth on 07801 677479.