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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 00:04 GMT 01:04 UK
Nationwide blackout hits Colombia
Colombia map
Colombia has been hit by a nationwide power cut, hitting commercial centres and causing chaos on the roads.

Ten people were trapped in lifts and the stock exchange was forced to suspend trading, officials said.

They said the blackout, at about 1015 local time (1515 GMT), was caused by an undetermined technical failure at a substation in the capital, Bogota.

More than 80% of Colombia was affected. Power returned to most parts of the country after several hours.

Only some rural regions were still being affected by the blackout, officials said.

Bogota's stock exchange resumed trading which would be extended for an hour to make up for the suspension.

Attack ruled out

"It appears to have affected all of the country," President Alvaro Uribe said shortly after the blackout began.

Luis Alarcon, manager of state-controlled electricity company ISA, said the power outage began at Bogota's substation and quickly spread over the country.

Mr Alarcon said the incident was not caused by a left-wing rebel attack.

Left-wing rebels have previously bombed oil pipelines and electricity installations as part of a 40-year campaign to overthrow the government.


SEE ALSO
Colombia backs ELN ceasefire plan
18 Apr 07 |  Americas
Colombia head 'ready for talks'
24 Feb 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Colombia
03 Mar 07 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Colombia
13 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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