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Sydney suffers third blackout in a month

A POWER blackout hit Sydney for the third time in a month today, forcing offices onto generators, trapping some workers in lifts and disabling traffic lights in another embarrassment for Australia's biggest city.

A cable failure cut power to about 30,000 homes and businesses, or about a third of all customers in Sydney's central business district, for about 30 minutes in the late morning, said a spokeswoman for utility EnergyAustralia.

Some workers became trapped in lifts, Australian Associated Press said, but trading on the Australian stock exchange continued unaffected and trains kept running.

"It's alarming that this has happened on more than one occasion in the past month," Max Predebon, a 30-year-old fund manager, said as he was just about to cross a road at a set of failed traffic lights in the financial district.

"It clearly has an impact on business and I'd like to see the government being more proactive and improving the infrastructure."

At the end of last month, a severe blackout brought chaos to the city, causing peak-hour traffic jams and leaving dozens of workers stranded in lifts as they tried to make their way home.

Days later, a second blackout cut power to 50,000 customers for about an hour, stopping 50 sets of traffic lights and closing a road tunnel under Sydney Harbour.


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