E.On submits findings that European blackout caused by error

16 November 2006 — German utility E.On AG said Wednesday that a blackout across Europe earlier this month was the result of human error and not any technical glitches, according to the Associated Press. The blackout affected millions of customers across Europe’s grid including Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain on Nov. 4.

E.ON said it was not caused by transmission grid failures or a lack of investment in infrastructure.

The company submitted a report of its findings to Germany’s federal networks agency that oversees utilities in Germany.

The origin of the blackout was traced to the turning off of a high-voltage transmission line owned by E.On that spans a German river to allow Norwegian cruise ship to pass underneath it.

That action triggered a grid disruption that left 10 million people without power and caused transportation problems in trains and in elevators.

E.On did not go into specific detail as to what exactly the human error was.