A huge power shortage that hit Germany caused blackouts from Austria to Spain. People were trapped in elevators, trains stopped in the midst of their tracks and millions were left to cope without electricity for two days. The problem started at northwestern Germany when a network got overloaded last Saturday night due to the shut down of a high voltage a transmission line to enable a ship pass safely, according to a German generator E.On AG. This, in turn, prompted substations spread all over Europe to shut down automatically to prevent further damage to occur according to Theo Horstmann of German firm RWE AG said. The most affected areas were Germany and France. Austria, Belgium, Italy and Spain also suffered blackouts before the power supply were restored. There were no reported injuries due to the incident. Italian Premier Romano Prodi believed that the incident demonstrates the need for Europe to have coordination in the power supplies. A central power authority to facilitate the power links proves to be a necessity. In France, more than 5 million people were affected by the blackout which started Saturday night and continued on Sunday. Firefighters in Paris received about 40 calls from people who were trapped in the elevators according to reports. (Associated Press).

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