Northern Ireland

Belfast sub-station arson attack leads to power cut for 2,500 customers

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Media captionNIE workers examine the damage done to the sub-station.

An arson attack has destroyed an electricity sub-station in west Belfast and caused an overnight power cut for about 2,500 customers.

Firefighters were called to Lyndhurst Meadows shortly before midnight, after bins were placed close to the sub-station and set alight.

Station commander Michael Roberts said the sub-station was "wiped out".

The power cut affected homes and businesses in the Springfield Road area but all were reconnected by 06:00 GMT.

'Reckless vandalism'

Ten firefighters were involved in the operation, but because of the dangers posed by the very high voltage, their commander said the only action they could take was to keep nearby properties safe and advise residents to stay indoors.

Image caption The electricity sub-station after the arson attack in Lyndhurst Meadows, off the Ballygomartin Road

The roof and gable of one property had to be hosed down to prevent it from catching fire.

Local resident and former DUP councillor Nicola Verner filmed the fire from her house.

She described the arson attack as "reckless vandalism".

Ms Verner said those responsible had put people at risk, including her elderly neighbour who lives nearest the sub-station.

She said the man is in ill health and has mobility problems and the arson attack had left him in "a very vulnerable position".