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Smoke rises from a fire at a facility run by utility Tokyo Electric Power in Niiza, Saitama prefecture, on Oct 12, 2016/AFP/STR/Jiji Press

Energy

Power cut to 580,000 Tokyo homes in major blackout

Smoke rises from a fire at a facility run by utility Tokyo Electric Power in Niiza, Saitama prefecture, on Oct 12, 2016/AFP/STR/Jiji Press

Smoke rises from a fire at a facility run by utility Tokyo Electric Power in Niiza, Saitama prefecture, on Oct 12, 2016/AFP/STR/Jiji Press

TOKYO, Japan, Oct 12 – Tokyo was hit by a major blackout Wednesday that temporarily knocked out power to a total 580,000 homes and some big office and government buildings, while two train lines were also brought to a halt.

Officials said the power outage could be traced to a fire at a facility run by utility Tokyo Electric Power. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Television footage showed plumes of black smoke billowing from street-side grates linked to an underground facility operated by the firm in Niiza City, north of Tokyo.

Police received calls reporting an explosion shortly before 3 pm (0600 GMT), prompting 10 fire engines to fight the blaze, local media said.

Work crews rushed to restore power in various parts of the metropolis and the problem was fixed within an hour, the utility said. There were no injuries, officials said.

Some central government buildings and downtown office towers, including the landmark Marunouchi Building, were also affected, officials said.

Two train lines were briefly shut down during the blackout, which lasted for less than two hours.

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