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Blackout Causes Chaos in Tokyo During Morning Rush Hour


The lights are back on in Tokyo and surrounding cities after a massive power cut that lasted up to three hours in some areas.

Much of Tokyo came to a halt during the Monday morning rush hour as a massive power outage hit the Japanese capital, as well as the cities of Kawasaki, Yokohama and suburban communities in Chiba prefecture.

Tokyo Electric Power spokesman Kazuhiko Utsunomiya says that nearly one-point-four million homes and offices were without electricity for up to three hours.

The utility spokesman says the outage was sparked when the arm of a construction crane, traveling on a barge in the Old Edo River, came in contact with overhead transmission lines spanning the waterway.

The blackout caused chaos for millions of commuters in the metropolitan area as subways and trains ground to a halt. Traffic signals at major road intersections went dark, forcing police officers to direct traffic.

For those who had already made it to the office some found themselves trapped in stuck elevators.

The area's major amusement park, Tokyo Disneyland, says it also lost power, causing an unprecedented one-hour delay in opening its gates Monday.

The damage was minimized, however, because many families are out of the capital for their annual summer holidays to hometowns far from the city.