Worker blunder causes massive blackout in California
Published 09/09/2011 | 08:17
A utility worker doing maintenance work in Arizona yesterday triggered a massive blackout which left more than two million people across southern California, Arizona and Mexico without power.
The blackout caused traffic chaos, cancelled flights and trains, the closure of schools and resulted in two nuclear plants being shut down.
A number of people had to be rescued from theme park rides and lifts that had got stuck.
"There appears to be two failures here - one is human failure and the other is a system failure. Both of those will be addressed," said Damon Gross, a spokesman for Arizona utility APS.
Yesterday evening crews had restored service in the section of the line that triggered the blackout and had begun to restore power to parts of San Diego County.
But San Diego Gas and Electric told customers that power might not be restored overnight and urged them to conserve electricity.
"Prepare to stay home tonight without power," the company told customers.
Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission said 180,000 customers had been brought back online in Baja, Mexico..