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Wiring mishap sparks blackout across L.A.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Utility workers connected the wrong wires and caused a blackout across major portions of Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, trapping people in elevators and snarling traffic at intersections, authorities said.

Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the resulting power surge and outages, which were reported from downtown west to the Pacific Coast and north into the San Fernando Valley.

Several workers who were installing an automated transmission system connected the wrong wires, according to Ron Deaton, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.