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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 02:49 GMT 03:49 UK
Power cut causes chaos in Tokyo
Staff outside Shimbashi station warn passengers that Yurikamome monorail is not in service
People had to find alternative means to get to work
A power cut lasting several hours has caused widespread disruption in and around the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

The blackout struck as commuters headed to work, halting some rail services, trapping people in lifts and leaving many buildings without electricity.

The blackout, which affected 800,000 homes, was blamed on a construction crane touching high-voltage power lines while being transported on a river.

Electricity supplies were restored to most areas of the city by mid-morning.

The power cut, which began at 0738 (2238 GMT on Sunday), hit the capital and parts of Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures during the morning rush hour.

Two lines operated by Tokyo Metro were at a standstill for up to 90 minutes, with some overland trains and the Yurikamome monorail also disrupted.

"Most of the affected areas are now recovering, excluding parts of Shibuya ward in Tokyo," a spokesperson for Tokyo Electric Power told AFP news agency.

Road traffic was also hit, with 260 sets of traffic lights knocked out of action.

Foreign exchange dealers were unable to trade because of computer problems.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea had to delay opening for an hour.

"In my memory we have never had this before," a company official told Reuters news agency.

As the city got back to normal, men were given a special dispensation to travel in "women-only" metro carriages to ease overcrowding.


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