HUNDREDS of Handbridge residents have been left without telephone and internet access after an underground cable was accidentally severed by workmen.

About 400 houses in and around Eaton Road, Hartington Street, Belgrave Park, Greenbank and Eccleston village were affected by the blunder, which cut off off connections at about 7pm last night (Wednesday).

There had originally been speculation that the incident was the work of thieves targeting the cable for copper wiring, but a spokesperson for BT said it was an accident.

She said: “Contractors working for another company have accidentally cut through an underground cable and we went on site straight away but obviously we have to work in safe conditions.

“Engineers are now working late into the night to replace the cable but we aren’t completely sure when things will be back to normal, it will depend on how the work goes.”

She added: “It is extremely regrettable when we suffer any kind of domestic accidental damage to our network and our priority is always to restore service as quick as we can and that is what we’re doing in this case.

“Those affected can contact their service provider to ask for incoming calls to be directed to an alternative number.”