FIRE crews were called to an incident at a converter station at Hunterston for a £1bn, 260-mile undersea power cable between Scotland and England.

There were reports of an explosion taking place at the site, and images appeared on social media of smoke coming from the scene.

Scottish Fire and Rescue were called to the site near the Hunterston nuclear plant on Thursday afternoon.

The facility was visibly damaged by the explosion, with several pieces of outer cladding shaken loose.

Nearby buildings were evacuated but work at the nuclear station was unaffected.

A spokesman said: “During a commissioning test at the Western Link site, there was a failure of a component in a substation. There were no injuries, no disruption to the electricity network and no risk to the nuclear power station. SP Energy Networks, National Grid and contractors are investigating the incident.”

An investigation into the incident is underway and more information about the incident will be reported after the completion of the probe.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 3.19pm on Thursday, September 21 to reports of a component failure within the Western Links electrical facility, West Kilbride. Three fire appliances were immediately mobilised to the incident, however their assistance was not required. There were no casualties and crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe.”