Power cut leaves shoppers in 'pitch black'

Some Porirua shoppers were left roaming the aisles in darkness after power was cut to more than 300 homes and businesses in the central city.

Wellington Electricity spokesman Drew Douglas said a broken cable meant 309 of its customers in central Porirua lost power between 3.52pm and 4.45pm yesterday.

Countdown Porirua checkout supervisor Fred Pereira said a few hundred shoppers were in the store on the corner of Parumoana St and Lyttelton Ave when it was plunged into darkness.

"It was so pitch black in the store that you couldn't make out some products. Sometimes you didn't even know when you passed by a customer," he said. "But our customers didn't seem fazed by it at all. A lot of them got out their cellphone torches and kept on shopping."

People had to be stopped from entering the store but those already inside were allowed to finish their shopping.

"We had staff going through the aisles with torches to keep an eye on customers. We wanted to make sure that everyone was safe and that there wasn't any theft going on."

There were two cases where "youths" tried to steal items such as chocolate bars and deodorant spray, but they were caught, Mr Pereira said.

The Dominion Post