6-foot long snake triggers blackout in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 12 October) – A six-foot long python that crawled atop an electric wooden pole here caused at least an hour of blackout in the entire service area of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) in North Cotabato on Monday, an executive said.

Engineer Godofredo Homez, Cotelco general manager, said the snake from the woods scrabbled up the electric pole in Barangay Meohaw here at past 3 a.m.

When the snake touched Cotelco’s cut-out line, the power tripped off several times, prompting the crew to shutdown the Mount Apo 69-kilovolt transmission line at around 4:10 a.m. to prevent further damage, he said.

The snake immediately died from electrocution after touching the line, the executive said.

Power was restored to all the substations of Cotelco at 5:30 a.m., the power distributor said on its Facebook page.

Cotelco has at least 96,000 power consumers in North Cotabato.

Homez said that the snake causing a blackout in the entire province was the first time in his at least 20 years of work with Cotelco.

“It was extraordinary. We didn’t expect this to happen,” he said.

Homez said that birds touching cut-off lines, and not snakes, sometimes cause power interruptions.