Kids celebrating the last day of school in England this week accidentally (or maybe deliberately?) caused 135,ooo homes and businesses to lose power when they participated in a book-burning ritual. What the children didn’t expect was for the fire to travel to power lines and cut electricity to large areas of Essex and east London.

The Telegraph reports that police are still investigating exactly what caused the fire, whether it was deliberate, and who is ultimately responsible, but no suspect is currently crying in custody or swearing on their nan’s grave that they didn’t do it. And whoever’s responsible should be at least a little bit frightened because besides making a shopping center lose power, the ritual bonfire also knocked out electricity to traffic lights, sending the affected areas into chaos.

From The Telegraph:

Flames rising from blazing planners and exercise books, which were set alight in a park in Upminster, east London, torched power cables in a bridge above.

Two fires were sparked within 100 metres of each other, one torched grassland while another “badly damaged” the power cables serving Havering, east London, and Ockendon and Brentwood, in Essex.

And here’s an image of the blaze:

Power was restored within half an hour, but police reminded the public that the area was going through a “dry spell” and that residents should refrain from lighting fires (the BBQ kind) outside. The power company apologized to those who were left without electricity.


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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