Homes left without internet or landlines for days after Hatch Warren incident (From Andover Advertiser)
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Suspected drink driver smashed into telecomms cabinet
AROUND 100 homes were left without landlines or internet connection for several days after a suspected drink-driver crashed into a telecoms cabinet in Basingstoke.
A silver BMW crashed into the box, located at the junction of Woodbury Road and Long Cross Road, in the early hours of Monday, August 26, leaving a trail of destruction and knocking out BT services in the surrounding area.
Dozens of houses were affected along with the community centre, where volunteers were preparing for last weekend’s Hatch Warren beer festival.
Sam Weller lives in Woodstock Mead, near the scene of the crash, and is also on the organising committee of the beer festival. He said the scene of the crash looked appalling, adding: “There was debris and car bodywork all over the area.
“The car must have been going at quite a speed. It took a while to get the BT box working again and there are many people who really rely in their landlines and on the internet.
“A lot of house alarms go through the landlines, so they would have been affected as well.”
Mr Weller said that his elderly mother-in-law, who lives in Maplehurst Chase, relies on her landline to keep in contact with friends and family, and had been upset at being cut off for several days.
Volunteers at Hatch Warren Community Centre were also affected by the incident. Mr Weller said: “We weren’t been able to sell tickets to the beer festival as we usually would. It’s been a huge inconvenience.”
A spokesman for BT said around 100 of their customers had been affected.
He added: “The cabinet had been moved by the car accident. Engineers have worked hard to rebuild the cabinet, which included providing a new shell, as well as laying a new concrete base before lines could start to be reconnected.
"We apologise to those people who have been affected and for the inconvenience caused.”
Police officers were called to the incident a few minutes after midnight on August 26, and arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of driving above the legal drink-drive limit.
Vicky O’Hare, corporate communications officer for Hampshire Constabulary, said that the man, from Basingstoke, has been released on bail until October 11.
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