21 Feb 2012

Wire falls during maintenance, blacking out 800 customers

10:18 pm on 21 February 2012

Power is back on to just over 800 customers in South Auckland after an incident involving a fallen wire. Police have also reopened Otara, Bairds and Lappington Roads.

National grid operator Transpower says the earth wire between two pylons fell, hitting local lines below, while workers were carrying out maintenance on Tuesday morning.

It says the wire was not live, but someone could have been injured had it struck them.

Customers including parts of the Manukau Technical Institute and the Otara Town Centre were without electricity for five hours, from 9am.

Several Otara residents say they were frightened when the wire fell just metres from their homes, and plan to make a formal complaint to Transpower.

One resident says the falling wire sounded like thunder and lightning, while another says she thought at first it was a car crash.

A woman who was concerned for her neighbour's safety ran out on to the road to check that no-one was injured.