German police investigate mass blackout in Dresden | News | DW | 14.09.2021

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German police investigate mass blackout in Dresden

A massive power failure brought the city of Dresden to a halt. Police are investigating whether the metallic balloon, presumably responsible for the outage, was part of an attack.

Two cars from the Saxon networks are parked in front of the Dresden-Süd transformer station. A fault in the system was the cause of a power outage in the Saxon state capital.

The blackout in Dresden lasted only a few minutes in some areas, but took two hours for the fault to be completely resolved

German police on Tuesday joined an investigation into a mysterious power outage in the eastern city of Dresden a day earlier.

The blackout hit about 300,000 households in Dresden and the surrounding area on Monday afternoon.

According to city officials, it was likely caused when a metal-coated balloon came into contact with the relay station.

Accident or deliberate attack?

The police were investigating whether the balloon reached the relay station accidentally or was being deliberately controlled.

Remains of the charred balloon were seized by the police at the substation in the south of the city.

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of the incident being an attack.

City grinds to a halt

The power failure happened at about 2 p.m. local time and paralyzing the city of about 550,000 people.

Traffic lights went out, as trams came to a halt, Radio Dresden reported.

Fire and emergency crews responded to about 34 calls, and there were at least 24 cases of people being stuck in elevators.

Four false fire alarms were also set off by the automated systems.

Emergency power generators ensured there were no outages at the two hospitals.

Energy supplier SachsenEnergie announced that a fault in the high-voltage network was the cause of the power failure.

While the blackout lasted only a few minutes in some areas, the issue was completely resolved two hours later.