HUNDREDS of students were sent home from college after a power failure hit the borough on Tuesday.

Around 700 pupils at Seevic College, the largest college in the area, were evacuated after an underground fault at a substation in Rayleigh which caused blackouts throughout the borough.

Castle Point Council, in Kiln Road, and Runnymede Swimming Pool, based behind the council offices, were also affected as UK Power Networks’ worked to address the issue after it hit shortly before 11am.

In total 102 customers were affected, with all but one resolved before noon.

Nick Spenceley, Principal and Chief Executive at Seevic college, said the interruption was not ideal although it was resolved fairly quickly.

“Today was pretty disrupted but luckily it was on a Tuesday, which is the day we send the students home earlier in the afternoon due to staff commitments.

“We were able to continue teaching when the reserve lighting came in but that all changed when the lights began to fail and the fire alarms started to go off. “We were unable to use the computers as well as the server was failing.”

Mr Spenceley said the college would be back running at full capacity for Tuesday night’s school interview evening.

He added that many students took refuge in ‘The Hub’, the new development at the school, as they waited for the lights to come back on.

Council officers confirmed Runnymede Swimming Pool was evacuated but said no classes running were affected.

A Castle Point Council spokesman established the power had gone out and systems were recovering as the day progressed.

“The power was affected in a number of areas, mainly in Thundersley, at around 10.45am. Power was restored at about 12.15pm, although not all power had been restored at this time. Despite this, the council was operating as normal.”

A UK Power Networks’ spokesman said: “We realise how difficult it can be without power and apologise for any inconvenience.”