Major power failure in UK causes disruption

Hundreds of thousands of homes were affected by a major power outage in the United Kingdom on Friday.

The event occurred at around 5 pm local time and lasted about 1.5 hours, National Grid said.

Photos and videos showed chaos in train stations and London’s Tube stations. Travellers experienced heavy delays and some train stations closed. National Rail told travellers to expect hour-long delays and cancellations.

National grid said in a statement that the outage was caused by the loss of two power generators connected to the system.

“As a result of this rare event, the system needs to protect itself. And what was happening was the frequency was falling, the system could see this, and unfortunately, the way the system protects itself is by losing some demand,” said Julian Leslie, the head of National Control at National Grid ESO in a video statement posted to Twitter.

“Even though these events are outside of our control, we have plans in place to respond and the system operated as planned by disconnecting an isolated portion of electricity demand,” a National Grid spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for the UK power networks said that about 300,000 properties were affected in London and Southeast England.

A spokesperson for Western Power Distribution (which serves Wales, Southwest and the Midlands) said roughly 500,000 customers were affected “from around 16.53 with all customers restored by around 17.22.”

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