999 emergency calls to Ambulance Service was knocked out for three hours

999 emergency calls to Ambulance Service was knocked out for three hours

EMERGENCY calls have been restored to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service after a major breakdown in its communications network on Saturday night.

But 13,000 homes in Northern Ireland are still without power on Sunday.

For more than three hours, all of its calls were diverted to ambulance staff in Scotland, who then contacted NIAS workers via their mobile phones.

Emergency repair crews from Norther Ireland Electricity worked into the night to try to restore electricity to thousands of homes still without power in Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland Electricity said the weather was improving but snow was still blocking roads, making conditions difficult.

It means homes may not be reconnected for several days.

NI Water said about 500 homes still have problems with their water supply in south Antrim and west Belfast.

The homes affected are mostly in Ballyclare and Hannahstown.

The situation has improved for many since Saturday morning, when 35,000 electricity customers were cut off and up to 1,000 homes were without water.

Julia Carson, NIE’s communications manager, said: “The weather does seem to be improving, wind speeds have dropped, but due to the extent of the damage across northern and eastern counties it may be a few days before customers are back on supply.

“Some roads are still impassable, access has also been restricted because of drifting snow, and abandoned vehicles, they’re also causing access problems for us,” she said.

As NIE crews battled the elements to reconnect homes, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service hit a problem a 7.30pm when elephone land lines and computers were affected.

The issue was resolved shortly after 10.40pm.

NIE crew work to restore 13,000 homes without power

NIE crew work to restore 13,000 homes without power

NIAS spokesman John McPoland said that it appeared a back-up electricity generator had failed.

There have been problems with the electricity network across Northern Ireland due to heavy snow and strong winds.

Thousands of customers across eastern and northern areas have been without power since Friday.

BT also said in a statement that weather conditions had caused “considerable damage” to its network.





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