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Power station blast adds to sense of chaos

Published:Tuesday | March 12, 2019 | 12:00 AM
People collect water coming from a broken pipe that belongs to the city water service during rolling blackouts, which have kept people without running water in their homes in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP):

Witnesses say an explosion occurred at a power station in the Venezuelan capital as days of nationwide power cuts imposed increasing hardship on the country.

Flames rose from the electrical facility in the Baruta area of Caracas early Monday, contributing to a sense of chaos among Venezuelans already struggling with an economic crisis and a bitter political standoff.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó says that three of four electricity transformers servicing the area were knocked out and that state engineers are unable to fix them. The United States-backed leader of the National Assembly has blamed the blackouts that began Thursday on alleged government corruption and mismanagement.

President Nicolás Maduro, ­meanwhile, has accused Guaidó and the United States of staging a ­“cyberattack” on Venezuela’s power grid. The US dismisses the allegation.