The lights went out in eight French towns in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France on Wednesday night after a stork landed on a high-voltage electricity pole in Barbey, Seine-et-Marne.
The bird was electrocuted and killed instantly, but his fateful landing also started a short circuit on the line that in turn caused an extensive blackout throughout the northern department.
“It’s never happened before here but I hear it's not unusual, a bird getting caught in the wires,” Daniel Villette, Mayor of Barbey, told France 3.
Photo: Olgierd Rudak/Flickr
EDF services quickly intervened and electricity was restored two hours later.
“We feared a long troubleshooting period but the EDF technical team have worked well and the power recovery was pretty fast,” Villette added.
According to Barbey's elected official, “the water supply pump also stopped working temporarily but in the end it was of no consequence, as the water tower was full”.