Raccoon mischief triggers blackout in Toronto, trapping people in elevators
TORONTO: (Reuters) An inquisitive raccoon fiddled with electricity equipment in Toronto and cut power for thousands in the downtown core late on Thursday, knocking out traffic lights in Canada’s largest city and trapping some people in elevators.
Crews investigating the outage determined that the nocturnal mammal made contact with equipment at a downtown Toronto station, Utility Hydro One said on social media.
A spokesperson for Hydro One said the raccoon did not survive the contact.
According to think-tank Electricity Canada, squirrels are by far the most common culprit when it comes to animal-related outages, followed by raccoons and birds.
The power outage on Thursday hit areas about 2 km (1.24 miles) from the CN Tower landmark and left about 7,000 people in the dark for nearly three hours.
The city’s fire department said it had to respond to “a higher number of elevator rescues” due to power cuts.
Some traffic lights were also turned off in downtown Toronto, which is also home to the busy Union Station rail transport hub, according to a Reuters witness.