A gas network failure has left thousands of homes in Falkirk, Scotland, without heating overnight.
Denis Kerby, Director Of Corporate Communications at gas distribution company SGN, said the firm was working to restore supplies as quickly as possible.
He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, said: “That might be a couple of days but in terms of getting everyone back on, we’re looking at five days.
“It could be up to Friday, it could even creep into the weekend – that is really the worst-case scenario.”
Infrastructure to regulate gas pressure in the local network is thought to have developed at about 04:30 on Sunday.
Portable heaters and cookers have been distributed to vulnerable households and 14 schools and nurseries are closed.
Local residents are being urged to check on elderly neighbours to make sure they are warm enough.
Engineers drafted in from around the country are visiting 8,000 affected customers and turning off gas supplies at the meter for reasons of safety.
By the end of Sunday night, they had been to 3,000 homes, spread across the Bainsford, Carron, Carronshore, Larbert, Langlees, New Carron Village, Skinflats and Stenhousemuir areas.
The firm said: “It’s likely it will be several more days until everyone’s gas supplies are restored.
“In the meantime, we’re continuing to work closely with Falkirk Council and Police Scotland, as well as other local organisations, to support the community – prioritising those who are vulnerable to make sure they’re well looked after while they’re without gas.”