ALL but around 20 of the more than 750 properties in Nantyglo hit by a gas supply problem last week have been reconnected.

Many homes in the village were left without supplies for several days after a key gas pipe was damaged by water from a burst main.

Wales and West Utilities staff have been working on the problem since the morning of Thursday August 21, in what a spokesman described as a "mammoth effort."

Up to 60 engineers at a time have been working around the clock, the biggest challenge being to remove more than 150,000 litres of water from 10 kilometres of the gas network.

A number of residents' appliances have been affected by water, and engineers have also been checking appliances to make sure they are safe to start using again, working with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water staff.

Villagers have been supported during the week by Blaenau Gwent's Tai Calon Community Housing and Bron Afon Community Housing in neighbouring Torfaen, as well as Wales and West Utilities, with alternative cooking and heating facilities brought in where required for vulnerable residents, and leisure centres being made available for showers.

Supplies to most homes had been turned back on by the end of today.

"The outstanding properties, around 20, are those to which we cannot get access," said the spokesman. This is because occupiers or owners have been away, mainly due to holidays.

"Our engineers will visit these properties regularly over the coming days to ensure that as soon as access can be gained, the properties can be reconnected."