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Local news in Brief : Power Failure Dims Century City Area

City firefighters had to force open elevator doors to release trapped passengers at the Century Plaza, and shoppers in stores, diners and hotel guests suddenly found themselves groping in the dark at the dinner hour Friday night when a major power outage struck the Century City area, authorities said.

The outage affected the main portion of the Century Plaza and 40 other businesses in the upscale shopping and business area.

About 26 of the businesses were able to switch to alternative power lines almost immediately, said Dorothy Jensen, Department of Water and Power spokeswoman. But the hotel remained dark, and passengers in the elevator were stuck for about 10 minutes.

Jensen said the outage was “probably due to a transformer failure at one of the customer stations where they connect to our lines.” She said the entire outage, which started at 6:12 p.m., was anticipated to be over by late evening.

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About the same time, many customers of Century Cable Co. in West Los Angeles, Westwood and Brentwood reported they lost cable service during the broadcast of the opening Olympic ceremonies. Company officials could provide no immediate explanation, but in the past they have blamed sabotage for loss of service during key events, such as a championship basketball game and the Super Bowl.


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