Massive power cut hits London, wide swathes of United Kingdom, snarling traffic

Benny Wise 
Kings Cross has just been evacuated

National Grid, which owns the electricity and gas transmission system in England and Wales, said the cause of a major power cut across Britain has now been resolved.

National Grid operations director Duncan Burt said Friday's blackout was caused when two power stations failed nearly simultaneously, leading the system to cut off power to some parts of the country in order to preserve the rest.

Thames link tweeted: "Due to failure of the electricity supply, train services running across the whole network may be cancelled or delayed". Striking during rush hour, the blackout left commuters stranded in the city.

Traffic lights in some areas are also off and drivers are being urged to take extra care on roads.

National Grid power was restored by 17:40 BST on Friday but there was a knock-on effect for some train services, which continued to be disrupted into Saturday.

A back-up generator failed at Ipswich Hospital after the power cut, a hospital spokeswoman said.

They said that other generators "kicked in" as necessary, and "patients were kept safe and cared for throughout".

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said Friday's power outage had caused "enormous disruption".

The two generators involved are believed to have been the Little Barford gas-fired plant and the Hornsea offshore wind farm.

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The power failure came as heavy rainstorms drenched the London area, causing flooding at Luton Airport, about 47 kilometres north of the capital.

Mr Burt said the power cut had "nothing" to do with changes in wind speed or the variability of wind.

Newcastle Airport was plunged into darkness for about 15 minutes.

National Rail said the disruptions would continue on Friday and into Saturday morning "due to trains and traincrew in the wrong locations".

We may not be able to answer individual tweets at this time.

"All trains were stopped while our back-up signalling system started up".

"All the traffic lights were down, but there were no police present... it was like witnessing something out of an apocalyptic film", Harriet Jackson told Britain's Press Association in south London.

Western Power Distribution shared a similar message, and said they were in the process of restoring power to customers.

Major disruption also hit the country's railways during the busy Friday night commute.

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