Power failure causes large-scale blackout in Sofia

Parts of Bulgarian capital city Sofia were blacked out for several hours on August 12 after a suspected substation failure triggered a chain reaction that left an estimated 93 000 customers without power.

The areas affected by the power cut were mainly neighbourhoods in central and western part of the city. The power supply was restored by mid-afternoon, the executive director of CEZ Distribution power company, Stefan Apostolov, told Focus news agency.

The blackout created a major traffic disruption – dozens of trams and trolley buses had been stranded, but the power failure also took out traffic lights. Reports in Bulgarian media said that some major intersections had police officers directing traffic, but other intersections were left without any such direction.

Sofia’s main emergency hospital, Pirogov, was also affected by the power blackout, but most medical procedures, including surgeries, went ahead as scheduled, with the hospital switching to its back-up generators.

The Mall of Sofia shopping centre also switched to its back-up generator, which broke down and produced copious amounts of smoke – but police said that fears that the shopping centre was on fire were unfounded.

The power failure took down CEZ’s own emergency hotline, but service was later restored, the company said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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