Published Saturday, 02 March 2013
Fire crews dealt with a blaze at an electrical substation in Carrick. (© Presseye)
Fire crews attended the scene, in the Joymount area of the town, just before 8.30pm and electrical engineers were able to restore power to all homes in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) said those responsible were lucky to be alive and the repair bill could cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Randal Gilbert from NIE said the priority was to make the area safe and work to repair the damage would continue throughout the weekend.
He said: “I cannot stress strongly enough how dangerous it is to tamper with electricity substations. Substations contain live equipment energised at several thousand volts of electricity.
"These vandals were lucky to make it out with their lives. As it is, they caused considerable inconvenience to the local community and local businesses."
District Commander David Heyburn from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the incident was “very dangerous given the high levels of voltage involved”.
“We would urge anyone, unless they are competent and fully trained, not to tamper with electrical equipment either in their home and certainly not on any of the main supply stations,” he told UTV.
“If members of the public do spot a fire at any of the mains equipment don’t try to interfere with the fire or try to put it out, just get in touch with the fire and rescue service and then the electric service and stay well clear.”
The police have launched an appeal into the arson attack.