Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/04/green_goo/

'Mysterious green goo' discovery halts phone repair

Fears over safety of 'suspicious substance'

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Broadband, 4th April 2006 09:00 GMT

More than 400 homes and businesses in Aldershot are without phone services after BT engineers refused to repair a faulty cable after finding "mysterious green goo" down a manhole.

The "suspicious substance" was discovered last Friday after engineers were sent to the Hampshire town to investigate a phone fault. But they refused to carry out the repair amid concerns that the goo might be toxic.

Samples of the stuff have been sent to labs for examination. The results of those tests are expected today (Tuesday).

In the meantime, around 420 homes and businesses have been without phone or broadband services since last week. Bank ATMs in the area are also offline, according to eye witnesses.

If boffins in white coats give the all-clear and declare the green stuff safe, engineers will be able to start work today to fix the fault. However, since the repair is likely to take at least a couple of days, it won't be until the end of the week before services are resumed.

A spokeswoman for the giant telco confirmed that a "suspicious substance was found in a manhole" in Aldershot which has been sent to labs for testing. ®