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Breaker explosion leads to ‘baby blackout’ in Toronto

Downtown core, west-end homes lose power during rush hour


 

Toronto experienced a blackout Monday, with approximately 250,000 homes in an area roughly bordered by Spadina Ave., Eglinton Ave., Keele St. and Dundas St., plus other isolated pockets, losing power. According to police and fire reports, a Kipling Ave. Hydro One breaker burst into flames at 4:42 p.m. The Manby Station breaker acts as a “giant switch,” distributing Hydro One’s electricity to Toronto Hydro. The lights even turned off on Prince Philip, who was presenting the Duke of Edinburgh Awards at the Royal York Hotel. Toronto’s downtown core was ripe with gridlock as the Bloor subway line shut down for about two hours between Jane and Kipling stations, but no one felt stuck more than Joel Dembe, a 26-year-old man in a wheelchair trapped on the 18th floor of the TD Bank Tower on King St. West. Stuck waiting for a lift, Dembe took his frustrations to Twitter and aimed directly at the top—Mayor David Miller. “I use a wheelchair and have been stuck on the 18th floor of the TD tower. Send help!” Dembe wrote to the mayor’s Twitter account. To his amazement, Miller responded and asked Dembe to send him his number. Within seconds, Dembe says, Miller called him and put him in touch with the fire department. Dembe said he made it clear to Miller and the fire department that his situation was not an emergency, but was happy to know that someone was listening. When a freight elevator finally arrived to help Dembe, it was more than two hours after the power outage had struck. Power was fully restored to the city at about 9 p.m. Monday night.

Toronto Star


 
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