Bangladesh was hit with a nationwide blackout Saturday because a transmission line, which runs from the neighboring country India, failed. Masum-Al-Beruni, the managing director of the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Ltd., said that the power outage affected all the areas in the country connected to the national grid, according to The Associated Press, or AP.
The blackout was caused by a “technical glitch” and began around noon local time. Officials restored electricity in many parts of the country within a few hours using “powerful generators.” The country’s hospitals and airports were also reliant on emergency generators during the outage.
"One by one, we have begun restarting all our substations that supply electricity in Dhaka. The city will get power back as soon as possible," Beruni said, according to AP.
Bangladesh began importing electricity from India in October last year, using a 400-kilovolt transmission line that connects Baharampur in the Indian state of West Bengal and Bheramara in the country’s southwest. The country, where about 166 million people have no access to electricity, has also signed deals with companies in Japan, China, Malaysia and the United States to build power plants and improve its energy infrastructure.
"Our work is progressing fast, we hope to restore the system to a great extent, if not entirely," Mir Motahar Hossain, an aide to Beruni said, according to AP.
Bangladesh faced its worst power outage in 2007, when a cyclone hit the country, killing nearly 2,500 people. The cyclone had led to the country’s national grid being knocked off for several hours.