AN explosion at the Klaarwater substation left several areas without electricity yesterday.
AN explosion at the Klaarwater substation left several areas without electricity yesterday.

Major blackout follows substation explosion

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Mar 14, 2019

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DURBAN - An explosion at a 275 kilovolt substation in Klaarwater, south of Durban, led to a major power outage in several suburbs yesterday.

The substation on Wiltshire Road is reportedly the second to experience an explosion in the past two days, said residents living in the affected areas.

The loud explosion was heard by residents and large plumes of black smoke made visibility so poor on some roads in the vicinity that vehicles were forced to turn back.

Ethekwini Municipality’s spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, said that a transformer in a substation in Klaarwater had been gutted.

He said the explosion and subsequent fire plunged most of Chatsworth, Pinetown and the greater Queensburgh suburbs into darkness.

On social media, residents living on the Bluff, Montclair, Yellowood Park and Woodlands areas also said they had been affected by the power outage.

In a statement yesterday afternoon, Mayisela said: “eThekwini Municipality sincerely apologises for the inconvenience this will cause to residents. Our teams are at the scene and working to restore power as soon as possible.”

He also warned motorists travelling in the area to drive safely as most of the traffic lights would not be working and intersections would have to be treated as four-way stops.

It is believed the city’s electricity department was waiting for the all-clear from the firefighters before technicians could start work to assess the damage and divert power to the affected areas accordingly.

Ironically, the Klaarwater substation experienced a similar explosion last year that plunged half the city into darkness, on March14.

By late last night, power had not been restored to most areas.


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