MORE than 200 homes were plunged into darkness after an electrical explosion knocked out power to Canvey.

An underground cable coming from a substation in Meadow View Walk, off Link Road, overheated and broke with a loud bang, shattering the tarmac and forcing up the pavement.

The explosion follows two other safety scares at the substation.

Grandmother Liane Dorrington, 49, who lives next to the substation, said: “The new year started with a bang.

“I was sitting watching television when all of a sudden we heard a really loud explosion, then the electrics went off.

“The house went into total darkness.

“We rushed outside and that’s when we saw the path had totally exploded.”

Her son, Brandon, 17, added: “It’s scary, really. Someone could have been walking past it.”

About 50 residents in pyjamas and armed with torches gathered outside the substation after the blackout, at about 7.50pm on Thursday.

Power was restored to the 206 homes, in stages, by 9pm.

Some other households lost power for about two minutes in the outage.

Mrs Dorrington, who is suffering from breast cancer, said workmen only put up a barrier around the giant cracks in the pavement outside her home, which are about 5ft long, after she pointed out the trip hazard.

She said: “My daughter Jade was coming back with her newborn baby and there are no street lights.

“Imagine if she fell over with the baby.”

Streetlights in the area are switched off at midnight as the county council tries to save cash.

A UK Power Networks spokeswoman said: “Very occasionally, the heat from a damaged cable can cause a bang to occur and in this case has damaged some paving slabs.

“We realise that this can be alarming and would like to reassure our customers it is very rare.

“We realise how difficult it can be to be without power, particularly at this time of year and apologise for any inconvenience.”


THE explosion was the third major incident at the substation in 14 years.

UK Power Networks insists overheating cables are “very rare” but an explosion happened in the same place, blowing a hole in the ground, as children walked to school in 2004.

A metal fence around the substation, to protect children, became electrified to the point it glowed orange and pebbles around it also started to vibrate a few years earlier.

Liane Dorrington said: “It’s driving me mad.

“Not only is it blowing up things in the house, but it’s making me worry about living here. Every time it explodes it seems to be getting nearer to my home.

“With it being the third time, it makes me think it’s dangerous to live here.”