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News In Brief

Power outage blacks out downtown Los Angeles

People were trapped in elevators and hundreds groped their way down darkened staircases in a power blackout that left a two-square-mile area of downtown Los Angeles at a standstill Tuesday.

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Nearly 8,000 customers, mostly small factories and offices, were still without power 12 hours after electricity supplies stopped Monday evening. Extra police patrols were sent into the area to prevent looting. The area lost its power when an explosion ripped through an electricity substation, a spokesman for the city's Department of Water and Power said.