Lisbon residents left in the dark

AN ELECTRICAL short circuit at a central Lisbon transformer caused an explosion last week leaving 2,500 customers in the dark.

The blowout at the transformer station at Avenida de Roma put traffic lights out of action and caused traffic chaos in Praça de Londres and Avenida João XXI at 10.30pm. Firemen were immediately called out following complaints from local residents living in the vicinity of the station about billowing black smoke, crackling noises accompanied by electrical flashes and an acrid smell. The firemen quickly sealed off the area because of the danger the EDP station posed to a petrol garage next door, although Sub Chief Marcos Alípo of Lisbon’s Fire Service said that there had been no evidence of fire despite the explosion. The short circuit caused nonflammable noxious gases to leak out, although the presence of petrol based lubricants could have posed a considerable threat. Last Monday evening, between 6.30pm and 7pm, a similar short circuit left businesses and residents living in Lisbon’s Chiado and Largo de Camões districts without power.