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Dust-clogged BEL equipment catches fire, sends Belize to darkness

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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020. 4:06 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize Electricity Limited has been working on restoring power nationwide following a series of blackouts starting very early this morning.

A fire on a transmission line in San Estevan, Orange Walk District, outside Orange Walk Town, late Wednesday knocked all of Belize except for Caye Caulker into darkness around 1 a.m.

Most of the country has since come back online except for parts of the Port Loyola area in Belize City, where a burnt pole top was being repaired. This is the area of Caesar Ridge Road between Fabers Road and the Port Authority/Port of Belize area, Central American Boulevard between Caesar Ridge and Trinity Street, and Jane Usher Boulevard.

BEL spokesperson Vonetta Burrell told The Reporter Newspaper that the company has been increasing its maintenance schedule in recent months to address the build-up of dust on its equipment due to the ongoing drought. The dust clogs the equipment and is suspected to be a key cause of the Wednesday night fire.

 

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