Excavator Blamed For Island-wide Blackout In Puerto Rico

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Most of Puerto Rico lost power Wednesday when a fix crew for a subcontractor for the island's electric power authority knocked down a transmission line connecting two power plants.

The latest blackout came just one week after 840,000 customers were left without power after a single tree fell on another power line in the center of the island in a major outage caused by the same subcontractor, according to officials. Grimm, a civil land and energy contractor based in Conroe, Texas, took down a transmission line while working to restore power to the island on Wednesday.

Puerto Rico's governor has called on the government-owned electric utility to end its relationship with the company that caused a power outage on Wednesday that knocked out electricity to the entire island.

An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the US territory struggles to fix an increasingly unstable power grid almost seven months after Hurricane Maria.

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The contractor responsible for both outages was subsequently fired, according to PREPA spokesman Geraldo Quinones Lopez, NBC News reported.

Macias said in an interview on Cheddar that the island's power outages affect Puerto Rico's most vulnerable residents the most. The company reported a 63 percent gain in its stock price after its contract in Puerto Rico had grown to a whopping $945 million to restore power to Puerto Rico, The Oklahoman newspaper reported.

Power returned to some municipalities in Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon.

In the process, the subcontractor, D. Grimm, used an excavator to remove the structure.

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This incident was marked as the "second-largest blackout", CNN reports.

But the mayor said backup systems and mobile tower lights will allow Wednesday night's baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to go on as planned at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the federal power restoration efforts, said they hope to have the entire island fully energized by May.

Cars line up at gas stations across Puerto Rico to fill up their tanks after an islandwide blackout leaves the entire island without electricity, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, April 18, 2018.

One of them, university student Jonathan Rodriguez, 22, told the Associated Press: "I knew we'd be without power for some time, but not this long".

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"Well, right now we're still as motivated as ever", Major Carrasco said.