CUSTOMERS had to be evacuated from a major food store when workmen cut through a power cable.
Tesco at Broughton Retail Park was plunged into darkness at about 1pm when McLaren contractors working on site made the blunder.
The supermarket and petrol station which share an independent electricity supply were the only businesses affected by the power failure.
Customers were forced to abandon their shopping and motorists were left unable to fill up.
A spokesman from ScottishPower said the power cut was the result of “third party damage”.
“Our engineers are on site working to restore supplies as quickly as possible.”
At 5pm, Tesco staff were still turning customers away.
Shutters were down and the entrance was blocked with shopping trolleys while staff indoors took the opportunity to restock shelves.
Tesco compliance manager Steve Love said engineers were on site trying to repair the damage.
“Contractors cut through the power cables to the store,” he said. “We plan to open as soon as we can but we can’t do that until we’ve had the say so from engineers and electricity board.
At 5pm Mr Love said he did not expect power to be up and running for another four hours.
He said all chilled stock would stay chilled in airtight conditions and food on the shopfloor would be reviewed before a decision about whether or not it could be sold.
A Tesco spokesman apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused.
McLaren staff declined to comment.