Barcelona still suffering 24 hours after power blackout

24th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 July 2007, BARCELONA - Businesses, households and traffic lights in many parts of Barcelona went without electricity for a second day on Tuesday following a power outage that threw Spain’s second city into chaos.

24 July 2007

BARCELONA - Businesses, households and traffic lights in many parts of Barcelona went without electricity for a second day on Tuesday following a power outage that threw Spain’s second city into chaos.

City officials and newspapers expressed anger and demanded that the electrical companies responsible, Fecsa-Endesa and Red Electrica de Espana, carry out repairs as soon as possible and pay compensation.

"We will not accept the city suffering another night like this," Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu said.

The blackout began Monday morning, hitting public transport, hospitals, households and businesses. In all, 350,000 customers were affected.

Fecsa-Endesa said 80,000 customers were still affected Tuesday morning but 50,000 should have power back by the day's end.

Traffic lights in several areas of the city were also out.

"It's not on," said the Barcelona-daily El Periodico on a front page that was mostly black except for photographs showing people using candles in shops and bars.

The paper claimed that Catalonia, the wealthy region of which Barcelona is the capital, paid for 25 percent of Spain’s electricity bill but only received 15 percent of the money for maintenance.

The outage began when a substation cable fell, causing a chain-reaction failure in as many as six other substations. It also caused a fire in one substation.

Firefighters reported a flood of calls from people stuck in elevators, and police officers were sent to major intersections to direct traffic. The airport was not affected.

Artur Mas, leader of the Convergence and Union coalition, the main party in Catalonia, said he was stuck in an elevator for about four minutes.

"What has happened is very serious. It gives you the feeling that the country is not prepared," said Mas.

(Copyright AP with Expatica)

                                Subject: Spanish News

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