Power still out in Amsterdam Centrum; two hurt
The power is still out in Amsterdam Centrum. Liander hopes to have it restored around 3:15 p.m., the grid manager says on Twitter. Two people were injured when the power went out. A hit cable caused a large flame on Weteringschans. One man sustained burns, and the other was also near the flame, the local safety office said to NU.nl.
The victims were taken to hospital. Both were conscious and speaking, and their injuries don't seem to be too serious, according to the safety office.
The power went out around 10:30 a.m. when a cable on Daniel Stalperstraat was hit during work. The man who hit the cable did not sustain injuries serious enough to need a hospital. "However it caused a sort of chain reaction in the cables", the safety office spokesperson said to the newspaper. This resulted in an explosion and flame in front of cafe Mulder on Weteringschans.
Various buildings were evacuated, including cafe Mulder, an adjacent supermarket and the Rijksmuseum. A day care on Quellijnstraat was also evacuated when its electricity box started smoking. Another electricity box on Nieuwe Looierstraat caught fire, and surrounding homes were evacuated.
The power outage brought a large part of inner city tram traffic to a halt. Trams are being diverted to another route. In many places trams have been standing still for hours. "I've been here for three hours", one tram driver said to NOS. "It's cold, but I can't go anywhere." Various traffic lights are also out.
The Rijksmuseum and Allard Pierson Museum will be closed for the next few hours, according to NOS. And various shops have signs on their windows saying "closed due to power outage" or "cash payments only". Many shopkeepers are cleaning their stores out of boredom. A cafe on Weteringschans is heating water in pots on the gas stove, in order to be able to give their customers some tea at least. A number of hairdressers had to move their customers to another business elsewhere in Amsterdam, that still has electricity.
Stores outside the affected area are extra busy, according to the broadcaster. "It is extremely full here", an employee of a cafe in the Museumbuurt, just outside the center, said. "So we haven't had time to check what is going on outside."