Puerto Rico without power after fire causes fault


PUBLISHED Wed, September 21, 2016 - 4:12pm EDT
Credit: Angel Crespo


All of Puerto Rico has been hit by a massive blackout after a fire erupted at a substation, causing a fault that is affecting two main transmission lines, officials say. Millions of residents are currently without power. (more)





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The outage began on Wednesday afternoon after a fire erupted at a substation in Central Aguirre on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Footage from the scene showed equipment engulfed in flames as well as a wildfire burning just adjacent to the facility.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which is the commonwealth's sole electric power company, said the fire had caused a fault in two 230,000-volt transmission lines, resulting in a total blackout. It said all of its 1.5 million customers were affected.

The fire at the substation was extinguished at around 4:45 p.m. local time, Fire Chief Angel Crespo said.

There was no immediate word on how long the outage may last, but Puerto Rico Police said it had dispatched officers to main roads and intersections to help deal with traffic issues. There were no immediate reports of accidents as a result of the blackout.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, is home to nearly 3.5 million residents.

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