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Cable failure causes power outage and traffic problems

Last Updated Mar 9, 2016 at 10:21 pm MDT

Enmax says what was initially called an underground explosion and fire turned out to be a cable failure late Tuesday afternoon.

The incident caused headaches along 17th Avenue SW at 21st St. during the evening rush and closed the eastbound lanes on 17th.

At the peak of the outage, it left over 3,800 people in the dark in the communities of Scarboro, Richmond and Bankview, but that went down to just over 100 around 7 p.m.

Enmax’s Doris Kaufman-Woodcock said whenever there’s a huge release of energy when a cable fails, it’s enough force to blow a manhole cover off.

“And there was a little bit of associated smoke with that, but thankfully there was no fire,” she said.

Power was restored to all customers shortly after 9:30 p.m.