Crew oversight to blame for Seattle blackout

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle City Light says an oversight by its workers was to blame for a downtown blackout that snarled traffic and trapped people in elevators last week.

Larry Weis, the utility’s general manager, said Thursday the mistake happened when crews were testing new relays at a power substation on May 25. The crews blocked the substation’s primary circuit breakers as they were supposed to, but they forgot to block backup circuit breakers.

It took about an hour to restore power during the noontime outage, which affected about 60 percent of downtown Seattle. No equipment was damaged.

The utility apologized for the inconvenience the blackout caused residents, businesses and visitors.

The outage interrupted transit service, knocked out traffic lights and resulted in about two dozen calls for elevator rescues.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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