Fire at BT exchange disrupts phone services

Up to 25,000 BT customers have had their services disrupted after a fire broke in a telephone exchange in Scotland last night.

The fire at the facility on Mansfield Road, Musselburgh, mostly affected customers around Musselburgh, Longniddry and Gullane where landlines and some mobile phones are out of operation – including 999 services.

BT engineers have reconnected services in Pencaitland and Cockenzie but a large number of subscribers and mobile phones are still out of operation.

The public has been asked to be patient and not to make use of emergency services or telephones, including mobiles, unnecessarily.

Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguards, health and council officials met BT executives this morning to assess the scale of the difficulty and monitor contingency plans put into effect earlier today.

A police spokesman said: "Engineers are working to assess the scale of the damage caused by the fire and until that work is carried out it is uncertain how long it will take to restore services. Emergency calls will be given priority when services are restored.

"However the emergency group are asking the public to look out for relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable. In particular they are concerned for elderly people or those who are sick who have difficulty in contacting doctors or emergency services for themselves.

"To enable people to contact emergency services additional patrols of police officers and high visibility police vehicles will be in the area. All police stations will be open 24 hours a day in the affected areas. Any member of the public could approach any emergency service vehicle or member of staff on duty who would be able to make radio contact."


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