Updated: Adds Enemalta chairman's statement, new video

Malta was without power this morning after an explosion at the Marsa power station. Enemalta said switchgear had developed a fault which caused a power interruption at Marsa and Delimara power stations.

Power was lost at 6.15 a.m. but supply to Mater Dei Hospital, Marsascala, Bulebel, Cospicua, Fgura, Sta Lucia, Gudja, Ghaxaq and parts of Zejtun, Tarxien and Valletta started being restored by 7.30 a.m. By 8.30 power was also restored to Marsa, Floriana, Tarxien and part of Birzebbuga.

70% of Malta had power restored by 9.30 a.m., and 85 per cent by 10 a.m.

Power was returned to all areas by 11 a.m.

Fire engines and an ambulance were seen at Marsa power station soon after the incident, but no one was injured and the situation was quickly brought under control as a fire was put out by an automatic system.

Enemalta is holding an inquiry. It apologised to clients for the inconvenience caused by the power cut.

The last time Malta suffered a power cut of this nature was in June, coincidentally on the day that Parliament was discussing the financial estimates of Enemalta. The corporation had concluded that the fault was caused by high temperature caused by a sensor failure.

Today's power cut took place a few hours after PBS broadcast an extensive interview with the Enemalta chairman, and a few hours before the Prime Minister is due to make his Budget speech in parliament.

Informed sources said the police have become involved in the inquiry into this morning's power outage. The area is being considered as being a crime scene. Court experts were also at the power station.


Enemalta chairman Alex Tranter in a statement to the press shortly before Noon said that a magisterial inquiry and a police investigation were under way to determine the cause of the explosion. The corporation was offering all its assistance.

This, he said, was not the first time that such incidents happened while Enemalta was being discussed on television or in Parliament and he hoped that the police investigation would establish the facts. He said that Enemalta at this point could not comment further on the cause of the explosion.

He said that Enemalta was verifying the stability of the power output following the stress on the system caused by restoration of services.

Mr Tranter refused to take questions.

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