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Thursday 28 August 2014

Riot as heatwave prompts power cuts

Published 07/06/2014 | 09:47

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An Indian commuter splashes water from a pipe onto his face to get respite from the heat at the railway station in Allahabad. (AP)

Thousands of people enraged by power cuts during an extreme heatwave have been rioting across northern India, officials said.

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Electricity sub-stations were set on fire and power company officials were taken hostage during the protests.

The impoverished state of Uttar Pradesh has never had enough power for its 200 million people, and normally many receive only a few hours a day.

But recent temperatures that soared to 47C (117F) have caused power demand to spike, triggering unscheduled power cuts that shut down fans, water pumps and air conditioners.

A state utility official said thousands ransacked an electricity sub-station near the state capital of Lucknow, taking several workers hostage until police intervened.

Elsewhere, angry crowds set fire to electricity sub-stations in Gonda and Gorakhpur.

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