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Police: Party balloon probably caused blackout in city of Dresden

Leipzig, Germany (dpa) – A normal party balloon was apparently the cuase of a widespread power failure in the eastern city of Dresden on Monday, according to police.

Police spokesperson Thomas Geithner said on Tuesday that the balloon suspected of triggering the blackout, which affected some 300,000 households, was a normal metallic balloon of the kind one might buy in the shops and use at a birthday party or wedding.

The remains of a balloon were found during a search of a relay station in the south of the city, which was the site of power failure.

Geithner said at a press conference with the electricity provider SachsenEnergie that it couldn’t be 100-per-cent confirmed, but, at this stage, the investigations indicated the blackout was simply an accident.

The balloon had not been altered in any way, and there was no message on it, he said.

The power outage on Monday afternoon necessitated 34 responses by fire and emergency crews. There were 24 cases in which crews were called out due to stuck elevators. There were also four false fire alarms prompted by automated systems.

By dpa correspondents

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