Washington, D.C. experienced widespread power outages that affected government and private buildings, as well as the city’s public transit rail system on April 7.
Occurring shortly before 1 pm, the outage was caused by an explosion and resulting fire at a power substation in southern Maryland which is partly operated by PEPCO, Washington, D.C.'s electric utility.
Charles County Fire & EMS were dispatched to the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) Ryceville power substation, where a transformer fire was extinguished in about 35 minutes.
No injuries were reported, and the incident is believed to be accidental and unrelated to terrorist activity.
The outage impacted approximately 2,000 customers in the Washington area, including the White House and State Department, where the daily State Department briefing was underway. Most affected buildings had power restored within seconds of initial loss, and power to all Capitol grounds facilities is now fully functional.
While neither of Washington’s two major airports experienced any interruption in service, the city’s Metro rail system is now partially operating on backup power, though lights remain on and trains continue to run.