About 8,000 homes at the Falkirk area in central Scotland have spent the night without heat in freezing temperatures after a major gas network failure.
Heaters and portable cookers have been distributed to vulnerable residents and 14 schools and nurseries are closed.
Electric heaters and cookers were being offered to elderly or sick customers and those with young children. Engineers drafted in from around the country are going door-to-door visiting affected customers.
The gas company SGN warned some homes could be without gas supplies until the weekend in the “worst-case scenario”.
Falkirk Council said schools may have to close on Monday and it would be working with SGN to care for vulnerable people affected.
Temperatures in central Scotland were close to freezing overnight and around 4C on Monday morning. One local resident, David McCallan, told that his home was like an “icebox” when he woke up on Monday morning until he switched on a heater supplied by SGN.
SGN said homes in Bainsford, Carron, Carronshore, Larbert, Langlees, New Carron Village, Skinflats and Stenhousemuir were affected.
Local police said, “Scottish Power is asking people in the Falkirk area is to be mindful of their electricity use over the coming days as there’s increased demand on the electricity network with people using heaters while they’re without gas.
A customer information center at the Camelon Community Centre in Falkirk will be stocked with portable cooking and heating appliances for elderly, disabled and chronically sick customers, as well as those with young children or other special needs.
Customers can request the appliances by calling 0800 9121717.
One customer, Angelene Perry, who has four young children including a baby, said: “the family woke on Sunday morning to find the boiler off and displaying an error message”.
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