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Malfunction Cuts Power for 5 Minutes

From a Times Staff Writer

A five-minute power outage Friday that affected 40,000 customers in central and east Los Angeles was the result of a mechanical failure at a downtown substation, a Department of Water and Power spokesman said.

The lights went out about 9:30 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles, El Sereno, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Park.

It was the second outage this month but was far less severe than one that occurred Sept. 12 and cut power to 2 million people for 1 1/2 hours. That outage was caused by a worker who erroneously cut wires at a Toluca Lake receiving station. On Thursday, the DWP issued a report that said the outage could have been prevented by double-checking.

DWP spokeswoman Gale Harris said the cause of Friday’s blackout was still under investigation but that it was not human error.

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