Kuwait’s international airport and hospitals were plunged into darkness on Wednesday night when a blackout affected the majority of the country.
Traffic turned into chaos, malls were forced to close and families were unable to cook or watch television for up to three hours after a “technical malfunction” caused the entire electricity grid to shutdown.
The Interior Ministry operations room received hundreds of reports of traffic accidents and people trapped in elevators, Arab Times reported.
Police enforced an “unprecedented security mobilisation” on Kuwaiti roads at what is usually a peak period.
The power turned off about 7.20pm, according to the Minister of Electricity and Water Abdulaziz Al Ibrahim. It was gradually restored with all areas regaining electricity by 10.14pm.
Al Ibrahim blamed the blackout, which affected most parts of Kuwait, on “a technical malfunction that forced a huge current to stop as a precautionary measure” to protect the electricity network.
The country’s three vital oil refineries – which account for more than 90 percent of export earnings – had not been affected, Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) told state media agency KUNA.
KNPC spokesperson Khaled Al Asousi said the company’s precautionary measures in the case of a blackout on the main electricity grid had come into effect.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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