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Monkey Triggers Nationwide Blackout in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya — A monkey caused a three-hour nationwide blackout, according to Kenyan officials.

Image: KenGen posted a photograph of what appears to be a vervet monkey crouching on top of electrical equipment.
KenGen posted a photograph of what appears to be a vervet monkey crouching on top of electrical equipment. KenGen

The Kenya Electricity Generation Company said in a statement late Tuesday that a monkey climbed onto the roof of the Gitaru Power Station and fell onto a transformer, tripping it.

The company said this resulted in the loss of 180MW from the plant, triggering a national blackout. The statement did not say whether the monkey survived.

The blackout lasted more than three hours Tuesday before power was restored.

The company said that its facility is secured with an electric fence.

"We regret this isolated incident and the company is looking at ways of further enhancing security at all our power plants," the firm added.

Kenyan businesses regularly complain that power cuts — due to its aging grid — and unreliable supplies make them uncompetitive and hurt growth.