Camps Drift fire trips power in PMB

2009-07-13 00:00

THE electricity blackout that hit the Pietermaritzburg city centre and surroundings suburbs yesterday was caused by a massive fire in Camps Drift that caused a high voltage electric cable running through the area to trip.

The black-out affected the Pietermaritzburg CBD, Prestbury, Wembley, Montrose, Hilton, Bisley and the Liberty Midlands Mall.

It is thought the fire started in a part of Camps Drift that is used regularly by driving schools.

According to Tony Davids, branch manager at the Msunduzi electricity department, all the suburbs were back online by midday yesterday.

Explaining what had happened, Davids said the fire, which stretched from West Street to Camps Drift, had caused the black-out.

He said a high voltage cable running above the area had been affected by the fire.

“We had the firefighters there and as soon as the fire was brought under control we checked the cables. The fire did not damage or burn the actual cables.”

The senior controller at the fire department, Dan Naicker, said they had no idea how the fire started. “The area has a lot of tall grass and branches. We will not know how the fire started until it has all been put out.”

The blackout had many residents phoning The Witness when they struggled to reach the electricity department. Some questioned whether it was a scheduled black-out they had not been advised of.

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