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Business

Head of Turkish grid operator resigns after blackout

The head of Turkey's power grid operator has resigned after the country suffered its worst blackout in over a decade. To blame were mismanagment and excessive risk-taking.

The head of Turkey's state-run power grid has resigned, after taking responsibility for last week's massive power outage, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Monday.

He blamed human error on the part of the company's management as well as a technical fault, saying TEIAS, which distributes electricity but does not generate it, had taken "too many risks."

"We have found out that five power distribution lines as well as the lines between the east and the west were disabled within microseconds," Yildiz told reporters gathered in the capital Ankara.

Last week's blackout

was Turkey's worst since the earthquake of 1999, hitting nearly all of the country's 81 provinces, from the Greek border to those in the southeast that border Iran and Iraq.

It was triggered after two power plants in Izmir and Adana Cukurova were shutdown. The blackout knocked out transportation infrastructure in major cities, interrupting public transportation services and causing huge traffic jams. It also kept offices closed for several hours, inflicting losses on businesses.

After his resignation, the power company's chief, Kemal Yildir, said to journalists that his staff had acted without his authority and that the result was an accident.

cjc/el (AFP, Reuters)

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