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Engineers from Northern Gas Networks (NGN) are now busy restoring the gas supply to homes in the Caterhouse Road area of Framwellgate near Durham today (10 December).

327 homes in the area lost gas supply early on Tuesday morning (December 8), after a water main burst, causing water to enter the local gas network. Of these, 100 properties have now been reconnected. Our engineers are making steady but gradual progress towards reconnecting the remaining homes without supply.

Due to the large volume of water in the network, teams are finding small pockets of water inside some of the gas pipes, as well as in service pipes  and in some cases, the gas meters of individual properties.

This water needs to be removed before gas boilers can be checked and relit. The process of removing the water is taking extra time, but will ensure that boilers can be reignited safely.

NGN has brought in gas engineers from across its region to increase the workforce capacity today.

Fergal O’Donovan, Business Operations Lead for Northern Gas Networks, said: “I would like to thank the local community for their patience, as we work to get their gas supplies back on as soon as we can.

“Our priority for today is to continue reconnecting customers to the gas supply as soon as we can. It’s a process that takes time and we apologise for the inconvenience.

“We are prioritising our most vulnerable customers, with the aim of reconnecting them as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to keep customers warm, well fed and comfortable.”

Hot food is still being provided by the two food wagons, and meals will again be available from 4pm today.

Customers just need to go along to the nearest wagon, collect a food voucher, and then be handed their hot meal. The drop-in centre at Bede Lodge Social Club remains open, providing hot drinks, food and a warm place to wait. Anyone using the drop-in centre will need to observe safe distancing guidelines by wearing a face mask, using hand sanitiser and keeping at least two metres apart from other households.

Customer Care Officers are going still offering support and providing portable heaters and hot plates to customers who need them to keep safe and warm. Customers using electric heaters are being advised to use them to only heat essential rooms, and we are asking that Christmas lights are also turned off for the time being, to avoid putting any undue strain on the local electricity network.

Who to contact

Customer Care Officers remain on site today, and the drop-in centre at Bede Lodge Social Club will be open throughout the day and into tonight.

The Customer Care Team can also be contacted on 0800 040 7766, or at customercare@northerngas.co.uk

Anyone who smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the free National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.