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Electrical outage affects 150,000 Baja residents

Suspected equipment thief found dead

Downed transmission tower though to e the work of a thief (photo from El Mexicano)
Downed transmission tower though to e the work of a thief (photo from El Mexicano)

A bizarre crime that claimed the life of an unidentified man who was apparently trying to steal electrical equipment from transmission towers east of Tijuana left the 65,000 residents of Tecate without power for more than 24 hours, the state-run federal electricity commission reports.

As of 7 a.m. Sunday, March 10, power had been restored to about 85 percent of the town, according to the CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad). The widespread outage began at about 7:30 p.m. on March 8, in a blackout the Tijuana daily El Mexicano described as unlike any in the history of the city.

Work crews investigating the power failure determined that it was caused when two transmission towers fell to the ground, taking with them a 69,000-volt cable between Tijuana and Tecate, a statement issued by the CFE said.

In the immediate vicinity of the fallen towers and power line, authorities discovered the lifeless body of a man believed to be implicated in the incident. According to the CFE, he and any others who may have been involved did so presumably with the intention of stealing electrical material from the sub-transmission towers.

The power company reported the event to law-enforcement authorities for a criminal investigation.

According to various press accounts, the blackout also affected some telephone service, left residents who depend on electric pumps without water, interrupted cable television, shut down gas pumps at service stations, and made it impossible for local radio stations to transmit programs.

El Mexicano reported "panic buying” across the city. Police said they increased patrols in the affected areas to maintain calm.

In addition to Tecate, other areas without power included La Rumorosa, Jacumbé, and Mi Ranchito. El Sol de Tijuana reported that, altogether, about 150,000 families were affected.

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Downed transmission tower though to e the work of a thief (photo from El Mexicano)
Downed transmission tower though to e the work of a thief (photo from El Mexicano)

A bizarre crime that claimed the life of an unidentified man who was apparently trying to steal electrical equipment from transmission towers east of Tijuana left the 65,000 residents of Tecate without power for more than 24 hours, the state-run federal electricity commission reports.

As of 7 a.m. Sunday, March 10, power had been restored to about 85 percent of the town, according to the CFE (Comisión Federal de Electricidad). The widespread outage began at about 7:30 p.m. on March 8, in a blackout the Tijuana daily El Mexicano described as unlike any in the history of the city.

Work crews investigating the power failure determined that it was caused when two transmission towers fell to the ground, taking with them a 69,000-volt cable between Tijuana and Tecate, a statement issued by the CFE said.

In the immediate vicinity of the fallen towers and power line, authorities discovered the lifeless body of a man believed to be implicated in the incident. According to the CFE, he and any others who may have been involved did so presumably with the intention of stealing electrical material from the sub-transmission towers.

The power company reported the event to law-enforcement authorities for a criminal investigation.

According to various press accounts, the blackout also affected some telephone service, left residents who depend on electric pumps without water, interrupted cable television, shut down gas pumps at service stations, and made it impossible for local radio stations to transmit programs.

El Mexicano reported "panic buying” across the city. Police said they increased patrols in the affected areas to maintain calm.

In addition to Tecate, other areas without power included La Rumorosa, Jacumbé, and Mi Ranchito. El Sol de Tijuana reported that, altogether, about 150,000 families were affected.

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Comments
2

Tragic in a number of ways but still, a candidate for the Darwin Awards?

March 11, 2013

What on Earth did he do to bring down two towers, and how was he planning on carting away that much cable?

I love it when copper thieves kill themselves.

March 12, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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