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CFE worker recovering from blast that caused Yucatán Peninsula blackout

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CFE’s Ticul substation in Yucatán Mexico. Photo: File

A 42-year-old CFE worker is recovering from serious injuries after an explosion that left as many as 1.3 million customers without power.

Carlos “Sal” Balam Gutiérrez, a Pustunich resident, was performing routine tests at the Ticul substation around 8 a.m. Wednesday when it happened.

An assistant at the switch apparently activated breakers at the wrong time during the maintenance operation.

That caused an explosion that burned the worker in the face and legs, a source told local media. CFE said he is awake and responsive in a nearby public hospital.

Strangely enough, Ticul was the rare locality that maintained electric power during the blackout. Power began to roll back in Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Tabasco after about 90 minutes.

In January 2020, a fire and subsequent explosion hit the same substation, but no injuries were reported and power was restored relatively quickly.

It was the latest embarrassment for the government power utility, which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has prioritized over green energy supported with private investment.

Sources: The Associated Press, Por Esto, Lector MX

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