Taipower re­pair­men as­saulted by cus­tomers in Chi­ayi and Yun­lin

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Taipower tech­ni­cians were at­tacked in two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents on Sun­day in Chi­ayi County and Yun­lin County, as in­di­vid­u­als dis­sat­is­fied with the state of black­out re­pairs vented their frus­tra­tions against Taipower per­son­nel.

Both ar­eas saw se­vere elec­tri­cal black­outs in the wake of Typhoon Soude­lor, which bat­tered Tai­wan Satur­day.

In Yun­lin County in cen­tral Tai­wan, two Taipower engi­neers were in­jured by a group of stick­wield­ing men, who also dam­aged their re­pair ve­hi­cles in the process.

The re­pair­men, sur­named Zhang and Chen, were car­ry­ing out elec­tri­cal re­pairs near a school in the af­ter­noon when a car with three men ap­proached. Ac­cord­ing to Zhang and Chen’s ac­counts, they asked “Why are the black­outs tak­ing so long to fix?” be­fore in­dis­crim­i­nately at­tack­ing them.

Af­ter the at­tack­ers sped away, the two engi­neers con­tin­ued the sec­ond leg of re­pairs only to be beaten again, this time by up to six young men.

The two tech­ni­cians then re­ported the in­ci­dent to the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion. The case is cur­rently un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the po­lice and one of the men in­volved in the first at­tack has come for­ward to apol­o­gize for his ac­tion.

The in­ci­dent in neigh­bor­ing Chi­ayi County saw Taipower per­son­nel com­ing out un­scathed yet sig­nif­i­cantly smellier. Dozens of fish­er­men, un­happy with the black­out en­ter­ing its sec­ond day, threw rot­ten fish into a Taipower ser­vice cen­ter.

In an area where much of the lo­cal econ­omy is made up of fish­ing and seafood prod­ucts, en­tire feed­ing ponds saw live­stock die out due to hy­poxia.

Tsai Wen hua, deputy head of Taipower’s Depart­ment of Busi­ness, Chi­ayi Branch, called for re­straint and pa­tience upon learn­ing of the two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents.

As Typhoon Soude­lor is one of the most se­vere storms in re­cent years, re­pair work is prov­ing to be dif­fi­cult, as ob­struc­tions such as col­lapsed trees, land­slides and un­safe roads have lim­ited the re­sponse by Taipower, Tsai said.

More than 4.3 mil­lion house­holds na­tion­wide ex­pe­ri­enced power out­ages, the largest power loss re­sult­ing from a typhoon in Tai­wan’s history. As of 10 a.m. Mon­day, 6,824 house­holds in Yulin and 6,747 in Chi­ayi were still with­out power.

Over 90,000 House­holds Still

With­out Power

More than 90,000 house­holds were still with­out elec­tric­ity as of Mon­day morn­ing de­spite ef­forts by Taipower to re­store power in the wake of Typhoon Soude­lor, the state-run elec­tric util­ity said.

Soude­lor caused power out­ages for more than 4.3 mil­lion house­holds, the big­gest power loss ever to re­sult from a typhoon in Tai­wan’s history.

As of 10 a.m. Mon­day, elec­tric­ity has been re­stored to 95 per­cent of the af­fected house­holds, Taipower said.

Of the 92,534 house­holds still with­out power, 18,952 were in Taichung City, 17,522 in New Taipei City, 13,362 in Taoyuan City, 12,171 in Changhua County, 6,824 in Yun­lin County and 6,747 in Chi­ayi County.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, re­pair work was ob­structed due to de­struc­tion in­flicted by the typhoon, such as col­lapsed trees, land­slides and out­ly­ing roads be­ing cut off.

CNA

A shat­tered glass desk cover is shown in Taichung, yesterday. Dis­grun­tled res­i­dents in the city took their anger out on Taipower ser­vice cen­ters af­ter Typhoon Soude­lor knocked out power for hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple in the area on Sun­day. Other re­ports of as­sault and ob­ject-throw­ing were re­ported in Yun­lin and Chi­ayi coun­ties.

CNA

A for­mer vil­lage coun­cil speaker, Yang Kuo-kuan, bows in apol­ogy, yesterday, in Er­lun, Yun­lin County. Yang al­legedly as­saulted Taipower re­pair­men af­ter com­plain­ing that ef­forts to re­store power dragged on too long. Yang apol­o­gized openly to the work­ers and so­ci­ety for his con­duct.

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