After the fatal accident of an employee in a substation in Kalkar, the power goes out in the entire city. The cell phone network is also partially affected.

After a fatal accident at work in a substation in Kalkar, the entire city on the Lower Rhine (Kleve district) was temporarily without electricity.

An employee of a partner company of the distribution network operator Westnetz was killed, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed to the German Press Agency on Tuesday. Neither the Westnetz spokeswoman for the districts of Borken, Wesel and Kleve, Bianca Enge, nor the fire department could say how the fatal accident happened. No information was initially given about the man’s age. The police in Kleve spoke of an “accident at work caused by an electric shock”.

Widespread power outage

The emergency call to the Kalkar fire department was received at 9:43 a.m. According to the fire brigade, the accident had occurred shortly before in the Oyweg substation in Kalkar. “As a result of the accident, the electricity and partially the cell phone network failed in Kalkar,” it said.

None of those responsible could predict exactly how long the power outage would last. “Some parts of the city are already being supplied with electricity again. We are gradually in the process of getting the rest of the people in the city back on the grid or supplying them with emergency generators,” said Westenetz spokeswoman Enge.

It was initially unclear whether the electricity was intentionally switched off by the operator after the accident at work. But there was a lot to be said for this because, according to the police spokeswoman, the scene of the accident had to be made accessible to the rescue services. The emergency pastoral care was on site, fire brigades, police and occupational safety were alerted, it was said. A spokeswoman for the district of Kleve referred to a “police situation”, which is also where the responsibility lies.

Households, companies and public facilities as well as traffic lights, shops and gas stations were affected by the blackout. The fire brigade advised leaving (car) radios on, checking with neighbors and providing help if necessary. Fire brigade and police emergency numbers should be kept free for emergency calls. In addition, the citizens in the fire brigade equipment houses in Kalkar and in the equipment house in Till-Moyland were available as contact points.