Power workers down tools after coming across human remains in Durham Market Place

The human remains were found in the Market Place, in Durham, close to St Nicholas' Church. Credit: PA

Human remains have been discovered in Durham city centre by engineers who were working to fix a power cut.

Northern Powergrid staff were forced to down tools when they came across bones in the Market Place on Monday night (25 July).

Durham Constabulary said evidence suggested the remains were historic.

A spokesman for the force said: “We were informed yesterday evening of the discovery of what appeared to be human remains in the Market Place, Durham.

“Several fragments of bone, including a section of jawbone, were found by power workers excavating a site close to St Nicholas’ Church.

“Excavation was halted while the fragments were removed for forensic examination.

"Officers are now satisfied that the remains are human, but have also established evidence to indicate they are historic."

Northern Powergrid workers were attempting to restore supplies to eight customers in the Market Place who had been affected by a power cut caused by an underground cable fault.

The team had to halt their repairs to allow for police to attend.

A spokesperson for the power supplier said: "Repairs restarted as soon as we were cleared to do so and our team is working on site in partnership with archaeological representatives from Durham University to ensure any historic bones are carefully moved whilst we continue our work to restore supplies for our customers.

"Excavation has to be carried out carefully and slowly and as a result this is unfortunately meaning that it is taking longer than usual to complete the repairs as work has to stop each time anything is discovered, with inspections carried out by an independent archaeologist."

It was hoped power would be back on for customers on Tuesday afternoon.

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