Excavation blunder triggers total blackout on Koh Larn Island

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A catastrophic blackout plunged the entire island of Koh Larn into darkness when a backhoe operated by Pattaya city workers accidentally severed an underground cable while digging at Yin Yom Beach on Phra Tamnak Hill in Pattaya City.

PATTAYA, Thailand – At 10:30 a.m. on June 14, a catastrophic blackout plunged the entire island of Koh Larn into darkness, when a backhoe operated by Pattaya city workers accidentally severed an underground cable while digging at Yin Yom Beach on Phra Tamnak Hill in Pattaya City. The damage resulted in a complete power outage, sending shockwaves across the island.




The blackout’s repercussions were immediate and severe, with local businesses bearing the brunt. Resort operator Mr. Suphan Thophae reported a flood of customer refund requests due to the sudden power cut. The outage wreaked havoc beyond hotels, affecting shops and beachfront restaurants struggling to preserve fresh seafood and other perishable goods. The estimated financial toll from this disaster has already exceeded one million baht, prompting Mr. Suphan to urge authorities to compensate the affected businesses.

Amid the chaos, Mr. Rungroj Chanmanit, Manager of the Chonburi Provincial Electricity Authority, and Mr. Sitthipong Buakla, Manager of the Pattaya City Electricity Authority, were quickly alerted. They rushed to the scene to assess the damage. In a coordinated effort, a team of skilled technicians was dispatched to tackle the repair work. By 4:30 p.m. their tireless efforts paid off, and normal power supply was restored to Koh Larn Island.

Resort operator Mr. Suphan Thophae reports a surge in customer refund requests due to the sudden power cut on Koh Larn Island. The outage also affects shops and beachfront restaurants, jeopardizing perishable goods.

Mr. Rungroj highlighted the electricity authority’s preparedness for such crises, explaining that they had a contingency plan in place. They swiftly informed electricity users on Koh Larn about the situation and called upon local operators to activate their generators. Despite having generators of their own, the authority’s equipment couldn’t support the entire island. While the initial repair estimate was around 10 hours, the quick action of the technicians resolved the issue far sooner due to minimal damage.


In a revealing statement, Mr. Boonthien Chansuk, Director of Pattaya City’s Engineering Office, clarified that the incident stemmed from an unclear understanding of the positions of the high mast power lines and the power lines supplying electricity to Koh Larn. These cables overlapped, with the high mast lines lying deeper than the Koh Larn power lines. The excavation to locate the high mast cables inadvertently severed the power lines to Koh Larn.

Technicians work diligently to repair the electricity cable after city excavation workers accidentally severed it on the mainland, causing a total blackout on Koh Larn Island.

Mr. Boonthien expressed deep regret to the residents and tourists on Koh Larn, assuring them that every effort was made to restore power swiftly. To prevent future calamities, the electricity authority plans to install clear signs indicating high voltage line paths. Long-term measures include potentially encasing the cables in concrete structures to safeguard against accidental damage during excavations.