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Power outage throws Hannover into chaos

The Local · 14 Jul 2011, 07:31

Published: 14 Jul 2011 07:31 GMT+02:00

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Police said Thursday morning that looters had smashed store windows and stolen goods when the power went completely out for about 20 minutes between 10:40 pm and 11 pm. A fire broke out at the medical school, but was quickly brought under control.

Several burglaries were reported and train stations were left completely in the dark, although Hannover’s central station was able to use an emergency power supply, as were police stations and the international airport.

Police said they were compiling a detailed overview of the night's drama.

A spokesman for the fire department described the incident as confusing and said officials had struggled to reach people at the local utility company for help.

Trains had to pass slowly through darkened stations for safety reasons, causing a series of delays, although a spokesman said train traffic was ultimately not seriously affected.

Officials blamed the outage on a technical fault at a power station that plays a particularly important part in the power grid and could not quickly be replaced. But the utility company managed to cobble together power from other sources.

Blackouts are a long-running security concern for the German government, which has faced them before – mostly during stormy or snowy weather.

Story continues below…

Three years ago, a study said the government was unprepared for massive power outages, which could cripple emergency services’ computers nationwide.

DAPD/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:10 July 14, 2011 by krautrock
Expect more the next years when "green" (so to say) energy will replace nuclear energy.
12:23 July 14, 2011 by freechoice
how can looting take place here? we are not in LA?
12:40 July 14, 2011 by Englishted
They didn't pay the bill ,now Russia will seize your planes.
16:31 July 14, 2011 by catjones
20 minutes of no power and chaos breaks out? My friend outside Chicago has had no power for two days (storms, downed lines) and she doesn't even hear horns blowing at traffic lights.
17:44 July 14, 2011 by truelytrue
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:02 July 14, 2011 by Zlik
Good Ole Yorkville , in big apple, has just de-electric , Web, Tv, tricity. service for hundreds due to manhole hole fire. POP! went my cpu. Pretzelz?
19:23 July 14, 2011 by wood artist
20 minutes? How can looting start that quickly? Somebody...more than one somebody...must be sitting around waiting for something to happen so they can immediately go looting. Strange.

22:24 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
We should increase our security to punish these criminalistic parasties that just want to spread disruption in our country. We want a peaceful and happy country. These criminalistic savages don't deserve to be in Germany
23:01 July 14, 2011 by paracelsus
@catjones: was more than 20 minutes, we had more than 2 hours, and believe me: for some people it was not funny! Or would YOU like to sit more than 2 hours in an elevator???
00:20 July 15, 2011 by adipk
@ krautrock: you are right man. in coming future electricity will be damn expansive and i am fearing to see such incidence as well. instead of making process more secure they just closed down all. may be political move to get some vote in next turn.
00:24 July 15, 2011 by catriona-c
Right, for parts of the town it lasted longer than 20 minutes. Still, this report here makes it sound more dramatic than it was. There was no widespread looting, only in one shopping center windows were smashed and things were stolen there. Haven't heard of any more burglaries than those, and sure not of any significant increase of crime during the blackout. Despite traffic lights out no huge number of accidents. There was no chaos. In my neighborhood people came out on the street to get information. It was calm, no panic, more curiosity. When the power came back, when street lights went back on there was applause and cheers in the street. People shared information of situation on Twitter and in no time a Facebook page had been set up as well.
03:01 July 15, 2011 by rwk
Just wait until the nukes all shut down...then you can hope that the smog from the coal plants will keep the looters from moving too fast because they'll be coughing too much.
05:14 July 15, 2011 by catjones
paracelsus...just responding to the news article. If your story is different, don't write to me, write to the local.
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