EDF 'should pay more over Dartford power cut'

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The bridge over Dartford Creek where the fire broke out
Image caption,
The fire on the bridge over Dartford Creek damaged four major electricity circuits

A council leader has called for energy firm EDF to pay more compensation after a power cut affected 94,000 homes in London and Kent.

Homes in Dartford, Erith, Bexleyheath and Orpington were without electricity for up to four days in July 2009.

Energy watchdog Ofgem said it was not EDF's fault but it has agreed to pay £700,000 in compensation to the 12,000 worst affected customers.

The leader of London's Bexley Council Teresa O'Neill said it was not enough.

Ms O'Neill said: "They (EDF) have compensated those people that were out of power for the whole period but what they haven't done is compensated those that had intermittent service.

"Also the compensation that has been paid out obviously is a fraction of the actual cost of the inconvenience caused to people at the time."

The power failure occurred after a suspected vandalism attack which caused a fire on a cable bridge in Dartford Creek.

The fire damaged four major electricity circuits, affecting homes, businesses, petrol stations and Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

In a statement last week, Ofgem said it regarded the event as exceptional and "concluded that there is no evidence that any actions or lack of actions by EDF Energy Networks caused the event to happen".

A spokeswoman for EDF apologised, adding: "This was an illegal attack on the network which disrupted and inconvenienced local communities for several days and cost EDF Energy Networks millions of pounds."

The firm also announced a £750,000 community fund for local causes and said it had carried out a full security review of the site and similar facilities.

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