THOUSANDS of homes in the Upton and Hamworthy areas were plunged into darkness last night, in some cases for more than five hours.

It affected a total of 6,727 properties.

Samantha O'Connor, spokesman for Southern Electric Power Distribution, confirmed this morning that that the problems had been traced to a different part of the network.

“We would like to thank residents for their patience during the interruption to the supplies. This was due to a fault with some of our equipment,” she said.

“Our engineers were able to restore the majority of supplies, however a small number were brought back on using a mobile generator."

The power was restored in stages, with the final properties coming back on just before 11pm.

One Hamworthy resident said: “At first I thought it was a fuse, then I looked out of the window and saw that everything else had gone out as well. I had dinner by candlelight. The power came back for about five minutes, then went off again until just before 7.15pm.”

Engineers are continuing repairs today to put all customers back on the network. No further interruptions to the supply are expected.