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Thousands spend night without gas in freezing conditions

Schools closed and heaters handed out to residents as 8000 properties hit by fault.

Heaters are being handed out to those affected at Camelon Community Centre.
Heaters are being handed out to those affected at Camelon Community Centre. STV

Thousands of people spent the night in homes without gas in freezing conditions after a failure in the network.

Scottish Gas Network (SGN) is working to restore supplies to around 8000 properties after the problem started on Sunday, but said it could be several days before supplies are restored to everyone.

Electric hot plates and heaters are being handed out to vulnerable residents and those with young children.

Fourteen schools, nurseries and education facilities in the Falkirk area were closed on Monday due to the issue.

SGN has set up an information centre at Camelon Community Centre.

It said electric hot plates and heaters are available for residents with young children and vulnerable and older people.

Engineers are going door to door to turn off supplies in affected properties and had visited 3000 homes by the end of Sunday night.

In a statement, SGN said: "Thank you for your patience so far.

"We appreciate it's not easy being without your gas supply in the cold weather and we're doing all we can to get your gas back on as quickly as possible.

"It's likely it will be several more days until everyone's gas supplies are restored.

"In the meantime, we're continuing to work closely with Falkirk Council and Police Scotland, as well as other local organisations, to support the community - prioritising those who are vulnerable to make sure they're well looked after while they're without gas."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1442824-thousands-left-without-gas-for-days-in-freezing-conditions/ | default

The company said a fault in a piece of equipment that regulates pressure in the gas network was to blame.

The gas issue is also having an impact on local businesses. 

Malcolm Allan "Scotland's Family Butcher", in Larbert, had to stop production at the bakery where they make steak pies after they lost their gas supply on Monday morning. 

Director Gordon Allan said: "We have two factories, one is a bakery and one is a sausage factory. 

"The bakery is effectively shut down from two hours ago, I've got staff in limbo. 

"We've staff to pay and we're not producing, it's not looking good at all. 

"The sausage factory will still produce because we have electric cookers so it can keep going but we can't keep the bakery going. 

"It's a major incident, we don't know when it will be sorted and this is a busy time of year for us because we do lots of steak pies for new year."

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