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27 Mar, 2019 03:04

Venezuelan minister shows scorched power plant, blames 'terrorists' for blackout (PHOTOS)

Venezuelan minister shows scorched power plant, blames 'terrorists' for blackout (PHOTOS)

Images of burned-out electricity generation equipment at Venezuela's biggest hydroelectric power plant were posted by the country's communications minister on Twitter, as Caracas blamed arsonists for a crippling power blackout.

A large-scale blackout hit Caracas and nearly a dozen Venezuelan states on Monday afternoon, bringing public transport to a near-standstill. People attempted to cram into overcrowded buses to get home before dusk, as the subway system was also disrupted by the outage.

The blackout was reminiscent of the outage that affected over 30 million citizens on March 7 and saw the Latin American country plunged into darkness.

The Venezuelan government's Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez posted a series of photos showing the debilitating impact the blaze that he claimed had caused the outage had on the transmission equipment inside the Guri hydroelectric plant. Rodriguez said that "criminals" set fire to the installations inside the plant, which is Venezuela's largest source of hydroelectric power, at 9:50pm on Monday.

One of the photos shows the electricity generation yard engulfed by flames.

Rodriguez said that firefighters were battling the blaze throughout the night and finally managed to put out the fire at 8:45am on Tuesday.

Photos depict badly scorched remnants of the transmission routes affected by the inferno.

"Criminals generated a fire in the 765 KVA yard of Guri, with malicious intent to damage the generation and transmission of the load," he tweeted. The minister said the "terrorists" succeeded, ultimately causing a blackout.

Rodriquez called the alleged arson an "assault on the whole people" of Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro issued a statement, blaming unidentified "criminals" for the fire at the plant that has affected three autotransformers and transmission lines.

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Maduro ordered a 24-hour suspension of all work and education on Wednesday, so the government could fix the energy supply.

The Venezuelan president accused home-grown perpetrators and their masters in Washington for carrying out the alleged attack.

"An event of this nature had never taken place in the history of Venezuelan electricity system, and it shows clearly the absence of limits of these terrorists protected by their warmongering domes that make up the military, financial and media network of supremacists," Maduro stated.