Daily Express
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Blackout causes chaos, businesses hit

Published on: Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: FRIDAY'S lunch-time blackout caught many by surprise as unlike previously it was not restricted to just one locality but statewide.

A man in his 30s was stuck close to 15 minutes between the second and the third floor of an elevator at the One Place Shopping Complex shopping in Putatan. He was rescued by the shopping complex maintenance team by the time the Fire and Rescue Department and the Civil Defence Department arrived.

Elsewhere, there was traffic chaos with people rushing to pick their children from school caught in the jam along with those going for Friday prayers.

The congestion was brought to order by police personnel who were dispatched to major traffic light junctions. The outage also caused several petrol kiosks to stop operations while others were seen operating on their private generator set, some banks systems went off-line and in one shopping mall, students were ushered out of the building.

"We can't do much because our systems are off-line and our ATM machines are temporarily functioning because of our generator set but I do not know for how long," said a bank personnel in Putatan.

Several eateries in Karamunsing Capital had to temporarily close, while others could only serve cold beverages as their electricity-run equipment ground to a halt.

Another food operator in Jalan Gaya said she had to throw away about 50kg of prawns which was stored in the freezer after it started to smell bad.

"This is bad for business, I hope something is done to address this issue once and for all," she said.

A mini bus driver ran out of petrol after driving around the city looking for a kiosk where he could refill his petrol.

"I ended up having to park my vehicle at a kiosk in Karamunsing after running out of petrol," he said, adding the kiosk was not able to refill because there was no power supply.

A business operator said he could not tell how long the generator could last particularly for hotels which use a lot of power supply due to their air-conditioning.

It was believed that several wedding receptions were also disrupted due to the power outage in the district.

Power was restored at about 2.35pm but it failed again due to a trip. In Sandakan, several business premises, including hotels were seen operating on generator sets.