Electricity blackouts in Moscow and the neighboring Kaluga and Tula regions were provoked by the fire and explosion at the Chagino GES-1 substation, Viktor Khristenko, minister of industry and energy, said commenting on the situation.
"The reason for today's blackouts is the fire and explosion at the Chagino substation," he said. According to him, the accident disrupted the work of a converter system and of the 500KW, 110KW and 220KW lines on the hydroelectric power plant.
"The system went into automatic regime and the Kaluga and Tula regions are working in an isolated mode," the minister said. "A large number of clients have been switched off."
Khristenko added that the emergencies ministry was analyzing the reasons for the blackouts. A spokesman of the emergencies ministry said measures were being taken to switch to reserve sources of power "primarily hospitals and pre-school and educational establishments."
The electricity problem did not affect the work of the main airports of Moscow. A spokesman of Vnukovo said the airport was working in a normal mode. "We are working normally and have no problems with electricity. We have reserve generators and so do not expect to have problems."
According to a representative of Domodedovo, "the airport is working in a normal mode, the electricity supply is steady."
A Sheremetyevo spokesman confirmed the normal operation of the airport. "We are working in a normal mode; there are no electricity problems or changes in our flight schedule."
The press service of Mosenergo explained the blackouts in Moscow by the accident at the GES-1 station, the oldest power plant located close to the Kremlin. Several gas-fuelled power stations have stopped working, said a spokesman of the Mosgaz municipal gas supply organization. According to an earlier statement by it, the blackouts did not disrupt the work of the gas supply system.