Arson attack on Belfast sub-station leaves 2,500 homes without power
Around 2,500 homes were left without power when an arson attack destroyed an electricity sub-station in north Belfast.
Firefighters were called to Lyndhurst Meadows in the Ballygomartin area shortly before midnight.
Two fire appliances were sent to the scene.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus dealt with the fire and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue finished at the scene at 5.46am.
A NIFRS spokesman said: “The fire is being treated as deliberate and the incident has been passed through to Northern Ireland Electricity.”
The power cut affected homes and businesses in the Springfield Road area but all were reconnected by 7.30am.
Northern Ireland Electricity Networks strongly condemned the vandalism.
In a statement NIE Networks said emergency teams responded immediately to make equipment safe and restore power to local properties.
Electricity was back on in the majority of homes by 1.33am and the final 200 properties had power restored at 07.30am.
Repair work to the damaged substation will continue throughout the day.
Head of Health, Safety & Environment at NIE Networks, Kevin McDowell, said: “Our priority is the safety of the general public and our employees.
"Vandals are risking their own and other peoples’ lives by approaching substations substation and causing deliberate damage. There is live high voltage equipment inside, and interfering with it can be unforgiving.
“They are also causing great inconvenience to the local community who are left without electricity. We would urge anyone with information on this incident to contact the PSNI or if you see any further suspicious activity around electricity substations or electrical equipment contact NIE Networks on 03457 643643.”