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THE WORLD

Power Outage in London Halts Commute

August 29, 2003|From Associated Press

LONDON — Power went out in parts of the capital and southeastern England on Thursday, halting much of the London Underground and many regional trains and stranding hundreds of thousands of rush-hour commuters.

Electricity was cut for about 40 minutes before it came back on about 7 p.m., said EDF Energy, which handles power transmission for the affected areas of London. The outages appeared to be confined to south London and Kent, a county southeast of the city.

Overland train service was temporarily halted in those areas and trains were canceled and delayed throughout the evening.

A spokesman for the Underground said 60% of the subway system was halted during the evening rush hour. Workers evacuated affected trains and stations, but it would take "some time" to return service to normal, the Underground said. Some trains began running later in the evening.

At London's Victoria Station, boards listing train schedules went blank and people stood in the rain waiting for the subway entrance gates to reopen.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone told Sky News that about 500,000 commuters were affected. He demanded an investigation.

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