Blackout hits great part of Chile

22:40, July 28, 2010      

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A large part of Chile, including the capital city Santiago, fell into complete darkness at 2:39 a.m. local time on Wedneday.

It is believed that a new failure in Chile's Central Interconnected System (SIC) led to this nationwide blackout.

On Tuesday, a problem in Polpaico substation caused a brief blackout affecting approximately 30 percent of the consumption in 11 regions.

It took almost three hours for some areas to recover from the power outage, which was attributed to a wrongly-handled technical work developed by the company Transelec, said Chilean Minister of Energy Ricardo Raineri hours earlier.

"We believe that the situation is unacceptable and in that sense I have asked the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuel to initiate an investigation as soon as possible," Raineri said.

Now the Center for Economic Load Dispatch (CDEC) should within 15 days submit to the superintendent a report on the causes of this blackout and then deliver a final report, which should identify responsibilities for the company. The firm could face fines of up to about 7 million U.S. dollars.

The blackout caused the cessation of traffic lights and traffic jams in Santiago, and some of the government facilities were closed down temporarily.

Source: Xinhua


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