Attack on Northern Ireland Water engineers disrupts sewer work
Northern Ireland Water (NIW) has been forced to abandon night time working, following an attack on its sewer improvement engineers in Londonderry.
The NIW team was carrying out essential sewer improvement works on the Abercorn Road, Londonderry when they were attacked by thugs, who caused damage to equipment, attempted to torch NIW vans and terrorised the crew.
According to NIW, several of its night crews have recently been subjected to attacks, which have resulted in expensive equipment being damaged and work left uncompleted.
As a result of the latest attack, NIW has rescheduled its Abercorn Road night works to the daytime to ensure the safety of its workers, which it said will cause major traffic disruptions while the road it closed.
NIW's project manager, Ross Funston, said NIW had no choice but to cancel the night works.
He said: "Where possible, NI Water carries out work on many major schemes throughout the night to avoid potential traffic disruption. Over 60% of the work carried out in the city over the last year has been completed at night.
"The subsequent road closure is likely to cause some disruption to local residents, however, the safety of our workers is paramount. I can assure the residents and local businesses in the area that we will endeavor to complete the work as quickly as possible."
The works by NIW are part of a scheme to improve the infrastructure of the city's sewers in order to reduce the risk of flooding.
At present, it is not clear what motivated the attacks.