Hundreds of houses in London still without power 24 hours after substation fire


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Countless homes and businesses in London were left without power for 24 hours after a fire tore through a power station and caused traffic chaos during rush hour.

The fire on Tuesday caused the closure of major road links, including the Blackwall, Rotherhithe and Limehouse tunnels, as traffic lights lost power, while the Docklands Light Railway was also disrupted by the outage.

Although transport was back to normal before the morning rush on Wednesday, many homes and businesses in more than 40 different zip code areas were still without power in the afternoon.

UK Power Networks, which manages London’s electricity, released a map earlier in the day showing areas in London hit by power cuts.

The fire at the Poplar substation was the main cause of the power outage, but another major power line also failed, forcing engineers to rush to repair the damage.

The map shows East London, near where the substation at Poplar caught fire, was badly hit with major power outages reported as far as Rainham.

Bromley in the southeast suffered, while Barnet in the north was also affected.

Most customers had power back on Wednesday at 3:45pm, more than 24 hours after the substation fire at 12:48pm on Tuesday.

The fire in the substation and the power outage was estimated to have initially affected 38,000 people. The vast majority of those are now back with power, with technicians working around the clock to reconnect all customers.

Londoners expressed their frustration on social media.

Someone wrote: “I wasn’t even supposed to go to the office today but a bloody power outage caused me to and now I’m in the Chinese down a few pints spending way too much money and getting ready to to be too drunk than I should be.”

Another said: “Electricity, internet and water are still off in our part of #Limehouse after nearly ten hours so we’ve given the quintessential UK response to a time of national crisis and went to Wetherspoons #E14 #powercut. “

A third added: “When will this power outage be resolved??? I can’t take this any longer.”

UK Power Networks said the blackout was caused by a failure in an underground high voltage cable and the substation fire.

A statement said: “Power to the E1 and E14 areas was restored around 5am today following a fire at a substation yesterday. Since then we have shut down power to a small number of customers while additional work is underway. We recommend anyone who still has no power to contact us at 105.”

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