THOUSANDS of Wigan homes were plunged into darkness during a power outage.
A cable fault was today blamed for the emergency which hit large swathes of Standish and Appley Bridge on Tuesday evening.
The lights went out in around 3,500 houses and businesses shortly after 9pm.
And while some addresses had their power restored within a very short time, others had to wait some 80 minutes.
One Appley Bridge resident, who did not wish to be identified, said today: “I was walking down the stairs when suddenly I found myself in complete darkness.
“I had to grope my way down the rest of the way and felt a bit lucky that I hadn’t fallen because I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.
“Fortunately we had some candles and while we missed one of my favourite television programmes it wasn’t too long before the power was back on.”
Paula Wright, spokeswoman for Electricity North West, said: “There was a cable fault shortly after 9pm on Tuesday in the Appley Bridge and Standish areas.
“There were 3,500 people affected in all and everyone was back on by 10.20pm, although quite a few had power restored within a minute.
“Engineers had quickly identified the source of the problem remotely, isolated the faulty cable and set up an alternative supply to the affected addresses and were due to be repairing the damaged cable yesterday.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”