Glasgow & West Scotland

Police witness appeal over Glasgow fire blackout

Witnesses are being sought after metal thieves caused a fire which closed the M8 motorway and left thousands of homes in Glasgow without electricity.

Electrical piping caught fire in an underpass, near to Kingsinch Drive, Renfrew, at about 20:10 on 7 November.

Police believe the attempted theft would have required at least two people with a large vehicle, such as a van.

Scottish Power has already offered a reward of £10,000 for information which helps catch those responsible.

The fire caused "substantial damage" to high voltage power cables, leaving the city's south side network much weaker.

Lives risked

It is thought that essential repairs will take more than two weeks.

Det Sgt Gordon McCrae, of Strathclyde Police, said: "People may think this a victimless crime - it is not.

"In this one incident, hundreds of thousands of pounds will have to be spent repairing the damage. People's lives have been disrupted as power was lost to homes and businesses and main roads were closed.

"However, more importantly, lives, not only of the thieves but of the public, are being put at risk - this cannot be stressed enough."

Det Sgt McCrae said the cables targeted were very heavy.

"They were housed in a disused underpass of the former Clyde Port Authority ground, near to the Campanile Hotel car park, formerly known as Purple Hotel," he said.

"We know that this area is used regularly by people going to and from work and by the public for dropping off at the nearby five-a-side pitches.

"We are keen to speak to people who used the area, particularly between Monday 31 October and Monday 7 November. It may be that they have seen something that will help us with the investigation."

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