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Power cuts hit food and drugs supplies in busy shopping centre

PUBLISHED: 12:35 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:58 05 October 2010

FOOD and vital drugs had to be thrown away when 50 premises were hit by three power cuts in one of the busiest shopping streets in London’s East End. Stores were left without light and heating in the blackouts in Bethnal Green which totalled 16 hours yesterday and Monday. A chemist lost medicinal stock—including drugs for a cancer patient

By Ollie Eckersley

FOOD and vital drugs had to be thrown away when 50 premises were hit by three power cuts in one of the busiest shopping streets in London’s East End.

Stores were left without light and heating in the blackouts in Bethnal Green which totalled 16 hours yesterday and Monday.

A chemist lost medicinal stock—including drugs for a cancer patient.

The manager of the Bethnal Green Road branch of a major chemist chain, Jill Simmons, told the East London Advertiser: “Medicine kept in a fridge for a cancer patient had to be thrown away—the patient was left without medicine for a whole day.”

She added: “Patients rely on us—with our computers down, no prescriptions could be issued.”

The branch lost an estimated £4,000. Nearby, Percy Ingle bakery lost £500 without its food heaters. McDonald’s fast food restaurant had to throw out food without its hotplates.

Nearby newsagent Islam Aminul, 39, who lost £1,000 trade, said: “No electricity, no business—it’s as simple as that.”

He felt as powerless as his store after calling EDF Energy at least 10 times.

“They are a huge company and sadly we can’t do anything about it,” he added.

The power was lost for 10-and-a-half hours on Monday afternoon and evening, then four hours yesterday from 11am to 3pm—and again from 7 to 9pm.

EDF blamed a fault in the underground mains supply which hit 50 properties along Bethnal Green Road.


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