Explosion causes huge blackouts in Joburg

2011-06-11 18:44

Two explosions at a substation in Observatory caused major power outages in huge parts of Joburg.

The explosions rocked Bez Valley around 8.30am today, sending billows of black smoke up in the air.

This caused blackouts in Bez Valley, Bruma, Kengsington, Observatory, Cyrildene and De Wetshof.

Bez Valley resident Mac Carim says the first explosion was followed shortly by a second.

“Just before the first explosion there was a lot of noise coming from the substation. We are very worried that it will take weeks for City Power to restore our power.

One of my neighbours is very sick and we also have a pregnant woman in our area,” Carim said.

He added that the residents could not get any answers from workmen at the substation on the reasons for the explosion or how long it would take to fix it.

Residents were also not able to get through to City Power’s emergency telephone line.

City Power spokesperson Louis Pieterse said a 11kW feeder board at the Observatory substation exploded and led to a second explosion.

He denied that a lack of maintenance was the cause.

“These things happen. This substation is 40 years old. If it was due to maintenance then the feeder board would have exploded a long time ago. It is a technical problem,” Pieterse said.

He added that 40% of power was restored to some areas by 3pm today.

“By midnight, power would be restored to Bruma, Bez Valley and Kengsington. And by tomorrow morning, Observatory, De Wetshof and Cyrildene will be back on line,” Pieterse said.

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