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Power was cut off to the whole territory for several hours after a power station blaze on Sunday
21.04.14 - 13:57 -
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Fire and explosion rock Gibraltar
Police sealed off access shortly after 2pm. :: A. B.
Thousands of residents were left without power after a fire at Gibraltar's Waterport Power Station on Sunday afternoon.
The blaze and a subsequent explosion happened just before 2pm although no one was hurt in the incident.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to tackle the fire as thick clouds of smoke billowed from the power plant.
Investigators have ruled out foul play and believe that a generator caught fire and exploded due to a mechanical failure.
Power was cut to the entire population at around 2pm to help fire-fighters tackle the blaze, according to government officials.
Workers at the neighbouring Waterport Place were evacuated as a precaution and the fire was declared extinguished at around 4pm.
Police sealed off access to the area and advised local residents to stay inside and close their windows due to the thick, black smoke from the power station.
But hundreds gathered outside the Waterport Place building to watch the incident.
As a result of the fire a number of online betting companies were temporarily shut down, meaning punters were unable to place bets yesterday.
However, some including 888 Gibraltar have on site backup generators meaning they could continue to power their operations.
Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill, whose staff were evacuated from Waterport Place just after 2pm, said their services were disrupted for around two-and-a-half hours.
He told AFP: “It's just one of those freak events nobody could have predicted.
“There will be those who will claim they would have backed a winner but there will be others who have been saved from backing a loser.”
Online betting companies Ladbrokes and Betfred were also reported to have been affected by the blaze.
Last night the Rock's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo thanked the emergency services for their efforts to control the fire and confirmed that power had been restored to the whole of Gibraltar.
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