Underground fire causes Jo'burg power failure

An electrical fire in an underground cable system caused a power failure in some parts of the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday morning, emergency services said.

Spokesperson Malcolm Midgley said firefighters were extinguishing burning cables in underground chambers below Commissioner Street.

“At the moment, we don’t know the cause of the fire,” said Midgley.

City Power spokesperson Sol Masolo said thieves may have been trying to steal cables from the underground chambers.

“We suspect somebody started the fire underground. A number of streets are affected by the power cut, including in the Newtown area. We are busy assessing the damage caused by this incident.”

He could not say when power would be restored in the affected areas.

On Sunday night, a power failure left at least 14 Johannesburg suburbs in the dark after a substation tripped.

Longdale, Emmarentia, Parktown, Parktown North, Northcliff, Forest Town, Linden, Parkview, Victory Park, Risidale, Greenside and Roosevelt Park were without electricity for about an hour.

Power failures also occurred in Weltevreden Park on Sunday evening.—Sapa

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