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Thursday, July 04, 2019, 10:49
Argentina: Faulty reprogramming caused 3-nation blackout
By Associated Press
Thursday, July 04, 2019, 10:49 By Associated Press

In this June 16, 2019 file photo, cars drive through an unlit street during a blackout in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On July 3, the Argentine government attributed the June 16 blackout to an operational error by the carrier Transener, succeeded by a series generator and power distributor failures. (TOMAS F. CUESTA / AP)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina's energy secretary says improper reprogramming of the electricity system following installation of a bypass on a major transmission line caused the power outage that left tens of millions of people in three nations without power.

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Gustavo Lopetegui told a congressional committee Wednesday that the Transener company that operates the lines failed to account for and reprogram an emergency system after replacing a high-voltage tower. So when a short circuit hit the grid, the suddenly imbalanced system didn't adjust to it as planned and the grid collapsed.

Transener issued a statement of apology later Wednesday.

Many people in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay were left without power for 14 hours on June 16.

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Lopetegui says regulators will determine what penalties to apply.

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