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Power failure in New York caused by the failure of the electrical network protection system

The blackout that plunged a Manhattan band into darkness on Saturday night began with a faulty cable on the Upper West Side, utility officials said Monday.

Consolidated Edison

said in a statement that the relay protection system supposed to isolate faulty cables failed to stop a 13,000-volt cable on West 64th Street. Electrical networks covering 42 city blocks then broke down.

After "analyzing the large volumes of data", the public service stated that it had "identified the problems related to the relay protection system".

The statement came after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attacked the provider for its handling of Saturday 's power outage, which had affected more than 70,000 customers, in a series of events. interviews with the media.

The governor said the blackout, which took five hours to be fully repaired, put New Yorkers at risk. "It's Russian roulette, you know? People can die, "he said in a radio interview on WNYC-FM.

The governor asked state investigators to investigate the cause of the outage. In another Monday interview on WAMC radio, he said that the state-regulated utility could face fines or penalties. He said that Con Edison could be replaced, but did not see it like that.

No injuries were reported as a result of the breakdown. Con Edison spokesman Philip O'Brien said Monday that the distribution network of this utility in New York was the most reliable in the country.

This is not the first time that Mr. Cuomo has attacked Con Edison. He ordered an investigation after a breakdown of equipment last December in the Astoria section of Queens. In March 2018, the governor suggested to the State Public Service Commission to revoke the licenses of utilities, including Con Edison, after storms caused widespread blackouts in the lower valley of the city. 39; Hudson.

George Arzt, political consultant and former press secretary of former mayor Ed Koch, said politicians frequently criticized telephone, cable and electricity companies because they are generally not liked by consumers.

"You can not lose a public service," Arzt said in an interview Monday.

Mr. Cuomo rushed to the affected area on Saturday night and held a press conference. At the same time, the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, was in Iowa while he was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president.

Mr Cuomo said Monday that he was not criticizing Mr de Blasio for his absence, but felt that a general manager should be present during emergency situations to project an aura of control to the public . The New York Post on Monday called on the governor to dismiss the mayor from office.

Blasio, speaking Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said he was making decisions in Iowa as emergency responders were doing their job. "Our agencies worked exactly the way they wanted," he said.

Write to Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com

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