Substation blowout blacks out EL suburbs

A powerful electrical explosion at Queen’s Park Zoo substation yesterday afternoon blacked out many parts of East London.

CRISIS: Queens’s Park Zoo substation had a technical blow out yesterday. Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

Buffalo City Metro said in a statement: “The burst was caused by one of the voltages on the 132kV line that blew up.

“Technicians are on site investigating the extent of the damage and once that is established the technicians will start clearing up the carbon.”

It was the second transformer to blow up this year.

The blackout affected Quigney, Southernwood, Selborne, the lower part of Vincent, Bunkers Hill, lower Berea, North End, Belgravia, Parkside and Braelyn.

By late yesterday afternoon there were reports of outages in Gonubie.

At the time of writing Buffalo City Metro said the electricity was expected to return at 10pm last night.

While the reasons for the explosion were still unknown last night Buffalo City Metro senior operations manager Johan Olivier told the Daily Dispatch he had contacted the company responsible for installing the lines.

“We are getting a truck in to clean up all the oil on the bars and we have to take the voltage transformers off the line and switch it back on at a later stage,” Olivier said.

He said the electricity should be restored in all affected areas today and his team would ensure that the problem was fixed.

There was a fire on the boundary wall of the substation but Olivier said it had not caused the blowout.

BCM electrical and energy acting general manager Rob Ferrier said they were unsure of how long it would take to get the electricity back up but that cleaning up the blackening caused by the sudden release after the blow out was of utmost importance. — oriellya@tisoblackstar.co.za

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