South East Wales

Gas reconnections start in Nantyglo after water leak

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Media captionSome people say they are struggling to cope without gas

A utility company has begun reconnecting some of the 750 homes in Blaenau Gwent which have had their gas supply hit by a water leak.

Wales and West Utilities said engineers had started restoring supply to about 150 properties in Nantyglo.

A spokesperson said it was "cautiously optimistic" all homes would start having supplies restored over the next 28 to 48 hours.

Water from a burst mains got into the gas pipe on Thursday.

Engineers called it a "complex operation" and said they were working around the clock to sort it out.

"We are continuing to pump water out of our gas pipe - more than 100,000 litres of water has been removed so far," said a Wales and West Utilities spokesperson at 18:00 BST on Saturday.

'Most vulnerable'

"We have also begun work to restore gas to approximately 150 properties... and are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to start on the restoration of all affected properties over the next 24-48 hours."

About 150 fan heaters and hot plates have been given out to vulnerable customers and anyone needing assistance should contact Wales and West Utilities.

Leisure centres at Ebbw Vale and Abertillery are open over the weekend for washing and showering.

A housing association responsible for 250 of the homes affected said it was doing everything to help and staff would be available over the weekend.

Tai Calon Community Housing has distributed 165 heaters and 24 microwaves and cookers for tenants to use.

Bill Perch, from the housing association, said: "Obviously, we're targeting the most vulnerable people, the people who will be most affected by the cold weather first, but we are speaking to tenants on an ongoing basis."

Image caption Water being pumped out of the gas system at Nantyglo

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