A Lancashire village was left without power after a hot air balloon severed power cables and damaged a pylon.

More than 540 households and businesses were affected in Abbey Village at around 6pm on Saturday.

The balloon, which had been taking passengers on a pleasure flight, had landed – as planned – near Dole Lane, just outside the village, when the incident happened.

But it then somehow became entangled with overhead cables, severing two and bringing down a pylon, causing what United Utilities called ‘major infrastruc-ture damage’.

It is unclear how the balloon came into contact with the cables after it had landed.

Police and emergency services were called and around a dozen officers sealed off nearby roads for the next two hours. There were no reported injuries.

A team of engineers was called and the majority of those affected had power restored at around 8pm.

However, other customers had to wait until around 5.30am on Sunday until their electricity came back.

The Hare and Hounds pub, Abbey Village, was one of the last customers to see power switched back on.

Zoe Sagar, assistant cook at the pub, was working at the time.

She said: “The power cut couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“We had a big charity fundraiser planned for a lady who is going out to Kenya – ironically to help set up utility supplies.

“We were expecting a packed pub and karaoke was planned.

“In the event most people turned up anyway and everyone made the best of it in candlelight.”

A spokesman United Utilities said that although balloon damage was not unprecedented, this kind of incident was very rare.

He added: “There was consider-able structural damage which left around 540 customers without power.

“Our engineers worked through the night to reconnect supplies, with the majority of households back by 8pm.

“We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”