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Kenyan monkey sparks sprawling blackouts

One monkey was able to render large parts of the country without power for several hours. The power company has said it is launching a thorough review of its security systems.

A single monkey managed to start a nationwide power outage in Kenya, authorities said on Wednesday. According to KenGen, the country's largest electrical company, the primate cut off power to vast swathes of the country on Tuesday. It took over four hours to restore electricity to the affected areas.

"A monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer, tripping it. This caused other machines at the power station to trip... resulting in a loss of more than 180 megawatts from this plant which triggered a national power blackout," the company said in a statement.

The Gitaru plant in central Kenya is the country's largest hydroelectric dam.

KenGen said that all of its facilities are surrounded by electric fencing to keep wild animals away from the dangerous equipment, but somehow this monkey managed to survive its near-death experience. The company said it would now conduct a thorough review of the security measures at all of its sites.

The animal has been handed over to the care of Kenyan Wildlife Services, KenGen said.

es/kms (AFP, AP)

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