Atlanta 8/1/2012 1:42:45 AM
News / World

620 Million People Affected In Massive Power Outage In India

A second massive power outage hit India Tuesday, causing widespread transportation issues and leaving hundreds of millions of people in the dark. Power officials say three regional electricity grids failed, which cut power to 20 of the 28 states. The outage affected about 620 million people.

Hundreds of trains across the region were shutdown and traffic slowed to a near standstill in New Delhi because of failed traffic lights. Thousands of passengers were stranded at train stations. Officials say the outage also caused serious problems at mines. In the Burdwan District of West Bengal, at least 150 coal miners were trapped underground. Emergency teams used generators to get the men above ground.

Power companies are still working to restore power. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said all three grids are expected to be fully restored by the evening. Shinde said the outage was likely caused by states overusing the government-supplied electricity.

"Everyone overdraws from the grid. Just this morning I held a meeting with power officials from the states and I gave directions that states that overdraw should be punished. We have given instructions that their power supply could be cut," Shinde told reporters Tuesday.

The blackout comes just one day after the northern power grid failed. Monday’s outage affected 350 million people in seven states.


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