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UK regulator launches investigation into electricity outage

LONDON (AP) — The U.K.'s energy regulator says it has launched an investigation into a widespread electricity outage on Aug. 9 that left a hospital without power and rail passengers stranded for hours during the busy evening commute.

The announcement Tuesday came as the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets released a preliminary report on the outage, which showed it began with a lightning strike on the transmission network north of London. Almost simultaneously, two power stations reduced supplies to the national electricity grid, triggering automatic disconnections that left 1.1 million customers without power for up to 50 minutes.

Ofgem says the investigation will look at whether National Grid, which operates the transmission system, had sufficient back-up supplies to manage the loss of generation and whether generating stations complied with their obligations.

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