FirstEnergy CEO Says Series Of Events Triggered Blackout

H. Peter Burg Says Operators Couldn't Control Prob

WASHINGTON - Congressional hearings into last month's massive blackouts continued Thursday.

NewsChannel5 reported the head of Akron-based FirstEnergy told lawmakers that a series of events triggered the country's largest power outage Aug. 14.

H. Peter Burg, CEO, said once that happened, operators could not control the problem.

Burg appeared before the House Energy Commerce Committee and strongly rejected any suggestion that high-voltage line failures in his company's system should be singled out as a single cause.

"We do not believe the events on any one system could account for the widespread nature of the outage. As my written testimony indicates on Aug. 14, a number of generating facilities were offline in the region and others became unavailable during the course of the day. There were significant power sales scheduled in the region, most of which flowed through FirstEnergy," Burg said.

Burg's testimony comes a day after the panel released transcripts showing technicians in the FirstEnergy control center were confused and didn't know what was happening when the power problems began.

Much of the attention has been focused on FirstEnergy as investigators search for what triggered the power outage.

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