Blackouts cause chaos across Israel

Blackouts cause chaos across Israel

Traffic lights fail; fire department has to rescue dozens from elevators; electric company cites malfunctions in two critical units

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Power lines in Israel on December 27, 2012. (photo credit: Louis Fisher/Flash90)
Power lines in Israel on December 27, 2012. (photo credit: Louis Fisher/Flash90)

It was a bad start to the day for the Israel Electric Corporation as simultaneous malfunctions at two electric plants caused blackouts in locations across Israel on Monday morning, although the problems were quickly resolved.

The IEC said that at 8:20 a.m. two power plants at the Gezer power station stopped working due to a fault in the natural gas supply line.

At about the same time a generator at the company’s OPC Rotem site also stopped working. As a result blackouts lasting 10-30 minutes were experienced at a number of locations around the country.

Traffic issues were reported at a number of sites after signals went out, and dozens of people needed to be rescued from elevators. The fire department was called to rescue dozens of people trapped in elevators, Army Radio said. Delays were also reported on the country’s commuter rail system.

The IEC said it had resolved the problems and power services were returned to normal by mid-morning.

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