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January 22, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Phone company workers cause Hongkou blackout

ABOUT 900 Hongkou District households were left without power for more than 14 hours after workers damaged a 10,000-volt power cable in the area on Wednesday night, authorities said.

Power supply was restored by about 1pm yesterday, according to the city's power supplier, Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd.

The workers, hired by China Telecom's Shanghai branch, fled the scene after the accident.

Both the company and the Shanghai Roads and Pipelines Supervisory Office were unable to be reached yesterday.

The power was cut about 9:30pm when the workers were trying to install a pipe under the power cable beneath Wusong Road near Yuhang Road, authorities said.

The team used a grab claw to lift the cable without informing the power company.

"It was so wild and uneducated," said Wang Changxing, from Shanghai Electric.

"They should have informed us and conducted the installation under our guidance," Wang Said.

The breakage tripped a 10-kilovolt transformer substation on Emei Road, which cut power to parts of Wusong, Tanggu, Zhapu and Kunshan roads, the power company said yesterday.

Thousands of people were affected by the power failure. Some resorted to candles on Wednesday night.

Shops and hotels along the affected streets had to close.

A manager at the Weilun Hotel on Zhapu Road surnamed Sun said the occupancy rate dropped from 90 to 30 percent following the power failure. Customers refused to pay their bills, Sun added.

The power failure knocked out two sets of traffic lights, according to the district traffic police. Officers were sent to direct the traffic during the rush hours yesterday.


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