THOUSANDS of homes and businesses were affected yesterday when a power

cut hit Liverpool. The electricity failure hit homes, factories, and

offices for 50 minutes at lunchtime. Thousands of passengers were

stranded on electric trains -- some underground on the Merseyrail

network -- as signals went down. Merseyside Fire Brigade said it was

inundated with 999 calls to release people trapped in lifts. Stores

closed and there were severe problems on the roads as traffic lights

were put out of action.