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    Brussels shopping district hit by power cut

    Rue Neuve in Brussels.

    A busy high street located in downtown Brussels was hit by a power cut on Monday after around a hundred electrical enclosures malfunctioned for an unclear reason, power officials announced.

    Businesses in the shopping area in Rue Neuve and in Place de la Monnaie, located near the bustling Brussels pedestrian zone, were hit by the outage at around 12:45 noon, in what an official of energy operator Elia said was a chain-reaction power shutdown.

    “A safety system was activated, but we don’t yet know why,” Marleen Vanhecke, an Elia spokesperson said, adding that the cause remained unknown so far.

    The malfunction did not cause any fire or explosions but halted activities in many shops and businesses for at least twenty minutes just as the holiday shopping season kicks off.

    “This incident affected around a hundred electrical enclosures, but we were able to put the power back on in around 90 enclosures within 20 minutes,” Iris Fostiez of grid operator Sibelga said.

    At around 2:20 PM, over an hour after the outage was reported, just under a dozen enclosures were still broken, with technical teams deployed directly on-site to carry out reparations in order to ensure the incident would not repeat itself.

    “For the eight remaining enclosures, we fear the problem could be recurrent, so we prefer to adopt a prudent approach and verify everything before putting them back on,” Fostiez said.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times