Date
25 May 2017
A power generator at Black Point Power Station in Lung Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun, is struck by lightning on Sunday. Photos: CLP, Apple Daily
A power generator at Black Point Power Station in Lung Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun, is struck by lightning on Sunday. Photos: CLP, Apple Daily

Over 100 people trapped in lifts as lightning hits power plant

More than 100 people in Kowloon and the New Territories found themselves stuck in elevators during a thunderstorm on Sunday morning.

The problem was traced to a power station operated by CLP Holdings Ltd. (00002.HK), which suffered a damage in one of its generator sets after it was struck by lightning, Apple Daily reports.

A CLP spokesman, however, said the operations of the power plant in question were not affected by the incident and repair was under way.

An investigation was underway to determine if weather was really to blame for the incident.

The Observatory, which warned earlier last week that the weather might become nasty over the weekend, issued a thunderstorm warning at 8:15 a.m. Sunday and expected it to last until 3:30 p.m.

The city witnessed 319 cloud-to-ground and 225 cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes as of 7 p.m.

Unfortunately, despite the odds being as small as winning a lottery, CLP’s Black Point Power Station in Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun was struck by lightning for the first time since it began operations 20 years ago.

A photo provided by a CLP employee showed one of the eight generator sets catching fire after being struck, with heavy white smoke billowing out of the damaged transformers.

Some personnel said the power station had been struck by lightning before but it had suffered no damage because of an installed lightning rod, which apparently failed to do its work this time.

CLP said the voltage of its 400-kilovolt power transmission network suddenly dropped for less than 0.1 second at 9:38 a.m.

Although it was only a blink of an eye, it was apparently enough to cause a power disruption and give the scare to many elevator passengers.

According to the Fire Services Department, it received reports that at least 149 people were trapped in elevators from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with one of them being sent to hospital. Another 51 reports of activated lift alarms were also received.

A spokesman for the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has asked CLP to file a report on the incident.

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/AC/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe