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Vandals put lives at risk by firing pellets at power line

The gang struck in Lochgelly, Fife, causing powers cuts for thousands of homes.

Energy:  The The alarm was raised in the Cartmore area at 12.30pm on Thursday.
Energy: The The alarm was raised in the Cartmore area at 12.30pm on Thursday. © STV

Vandals put lives at risk and caused power cuts for thousands of residents after firing pellets at overhead power lines.

SP Energy Networks said the gang, who struck in Lochgelly, Fife, could have caused house fires or damaged home appliances.

The alarm was raised at Cartmore at 12.30pm on Thursday when engineers were called to a report of a power cut.

On arrival they discovered pellets, potentially fired from airguns or powerful catapults, had shattered various pieces of equipment on the overhead lines.

'If you tamper with a power line, you run the risk of sparking house fires or damaging appliances like TVs and fridge freezers in nearby properties connected to the grid.'
SP Energy Networks customer service director Guy Jefferson

The power firm managed to reconnect around 2000 homes in just under an hour but eight properties remained off supply for seven hours until the repairs could be completed.

Guy Jefferson, customer service director at SP Energy Networks said: "Our engineers simply could not believe their eyes when they saw that pellets deliberately fired at our power lines had been responsible for the damage.

"It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could be so irresponsible.

"They caused unnecessary issues for a lot of people but their actions could have had fatal consequences."

He added: "If you tamper with a power line, you run the risk of sparking house fires or damaging appliances like TVs and fridge freezers in nearby properties connected to the grid.

"These foolish individuals obviously don't care about the damage they have caused."

In 2013, two serious house fires were recorded in Greenock, Inverclyde, after a theft from a substation.

A separate theft in the same year caused damage to appliances in 50 homes in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire.

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