Jun 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Hundreds of thousands without power in Puerto Rico after fire at power facility

Photo of a Luma Energy power plant with three people standing in the foreground
A facility operated by Luma Energy. On Thursday, much of Puerto Rico lost power after a Luma plant exploded. Photo: Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of people were without power in Puerto Rico Thursday night after a large fire broke out at a main substation of Luma energy, a private company that took over the island's Electric Power Authority earlier this month, AP reports.

The state of play: The cause of the fire in the capital San Juan remains unknown. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said local and federal authorities are investigating the blaze and taking the necessary precautions to reestablish electricity. "Every government resource is active and available to work on this emergency," he said.

  • The FBI in San Juan said in an emailed statement that it is "evaluating the situation concerning the massive black out," but noted it couldn't "confirm or deny" any investigation.
  • Luma said restoration of power had started and would continue overnight.

The big picture: Since Luma took over the power authority, customers have complained of increased power outages, per AP.

  • "Government officials have urged patience, noting that Luma inherited thousands of outages and only just took over a system running on rickety infrastructure, much of it patched together after Hurricane Maria," AP writes.
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