Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 15:10 UK

Thousands struck by power failure

Queue outside a post office
Customers were forced to leave post offices and banks

A power cut left thousands of people in south London without electricity.

Power failures at homes and businesses from Battersea to Brockley were reported at about 1130 BST and some shops were forced to close.

The power cut lasted less than an hour but it affected train stations, like Clapham Junction, and caused road problems as traffic lights went out.

National Grid said the problem was caused by two power stations going off-line within two minutes.

Safe operating levels

Customers were forced to leave banks and post offices, and shops also had to shut their doors.

Local supplier EDF Energy said electricity was restored to the area within an hour after the power failure.

A spokesman for National Grid said: "Two power stations came off the national grid network unexpectedly within two minutes of each other. This caused a drop in frequency.

"The system operated is designed to protect the majority of UK electricity demand, by automatically disconnecting a small proportion of demand to bring frequency back to safe operating levels."


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