MORE than a thousand Scottish homes have been left without heating after a burst water main flooded a gas pipe.
The situation arose yesterday afternoon, when customers reported problems with their gas, all of whom lived in the Granton and West Pilton areas of Edinburgh.
Scotia Gas Networks revealed the pressure caused by the burst water main had caused one of their gas pipes to crack, letting water flood in.
Duncan MacDonald, a spokesman for the company, said they had around 150 engineers working to resolve the problem, which had left around 1,200 homes on 26 streets without gas.
He said: “Before we can do anything, it is vital that we make sure that every house has its gas supply turned off.
“We have made good progress with this and have had our teams working through the night.
“No more water is making its way into the pipes and we hope that we can start pumping the existing water out later today (Fri).
“We can’t even think about reintroducing gas to the network until all of the water has gone.”
But he warned it could be several days before the supply was restored, and said staff had been bringing hot plates and portable cookers to the homes of the most vulnerable residents, to allow them to cook and keep warm as temperatures plummeted again.
He added that residents would be issued with letters this afternoon, to keep them updated with the progress being made.
A resident of the area said: “I feel sorry for those families who have children.
“You can’t keep them in those conditions”
And an elderly resident, who asked not to be named, said she had been so cold she had spent most of the day in bed to keep warm.
Two primary schools – Pirniehall and St David’s – were also closed today (Fri) as a result of the problem.
A spokesman for the City of Edinburgh Council said: “The schools were not closed yesterday as there was enough residual heat to keep them going through the afternoon, but that wouldn’t have continued to be the case.”
Both schools are expected to stay closed on Monday.
Residents were also without water for part of yesterday afternoon as it was turned off by Scottish Water to limit the amount getting into the network.
But today (Fri) a Scottish Water spokesman said it had been turned back on and was running normally again.
He said: “We will now look to work with Scotia Gas Networks and will assist them in getting gas supplies back to normal.”
Scottish Water said it was not known what caused the water main to burst, but that it would be conducting an investigation.