POWER has now been restored after a JCB digger on a building site cut through a power cable, leaving 176 homes without power earlier in the village of Hurworth, near Darlington.

Residents reported hearing a 'loud bang' at about 10.05am before the power went off in homes across the village.

The Northern Echo:

A Northern Powergrid spokesman said a generator had been put in place and power was restored at about 2.45pm.

"A JCB digger has gone through an underground cable," he said.

This had caused the fuses to blow at the local substation.

One resident said: "I could hear a digger moving about, and then I heard a loud bang and all the lights, the PCs, everything went off.

"A few hours later I head the digger starting again. I think it is something to do with the building site.

Bellway Homes, which is building houses near to where the digger was operating, has been contacted for comment.