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UK government to launch urgent probe into Friday's mass power cuts

Christian Fernsby |
The British government said on Sunday that it will launch an urgent investigation into a major power cut that affected nearly one million people and sparked transport chaos in England and Wales on Friday.

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Andrea Leadsom, the British secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said that "National Grid must urgently review and report to Ofgem."

Ofgem stands for the British Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. It supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, which is the government regulator for the electricity and downstream natural gas markets in Great Britain.

"I will also be commissioning the government's Energy Emergencies Executive Committee to consider the incident," Leadsom said.

The committee will look at whether National Grid, which manages the country's electricity supply system, sticked to its processes and procedures and if these were fit-for-purpose.

The mass power blackout on Friday afternoon brought down large numbers of train services and affected the power supply to Newcastle Airport and Ipswich Hospital, according to news reports.

Power was restored to more than 900,000 customers after what National Grid Electricity System Operator said was the almost simultaneous loss of two large generators.

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