A truck hit a line in the national power grid and thus caused a power cut in all provinces and cities in southern Vietnam on Wednesday afternoon.
The national power supply corporation Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said on its website later the same day that the truck was planting a tree near a utility pole in the southern province of Binh Duong when its crane suddenly banged into a cord of the 500 KV electric wire system, leading to the outage.
The system runs from the north through to the south of the country.
Authorities have kept this vehicle for further investigation, EVN said, adding that it will restore the whole power system for the southern region by this evening after the electricity supply has been resumed in many areas.
Huynh Minh Hai, director of EVN’s branch in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, said that this was the first time such a huge incident had occurred in Vietnam over the last 100 years.
An EVN executive earlier dismissed speculations that a fire may have broken out at a power plant without specifying the scale of the power cut’s effects.
Traffic went wild in Ho Chi Minh City because the stoplights were not working, with traffic police struggling to regulate the chaotic flow of vehices at busy crossroads, following the blackout.
Local residents got to the streets to shelter from the heat inside their houses, as it has been very hot in the city for the past several days.
Many shops, restaurants, and schools closed earlier than normal while white-collar workers tried to get out of their stuffy offices for fresh air in the open.
Many city water supply plants were also shut down for one hour due to the unexpected power cut.