From A for traffic lights to S for trams to Z for access barriers, on Monday morning for about 35 minutes nothing worked in Innsbruck and 34 surrounding Tyrolean municipalities from just before 11 am. The reason: a blackout! As reported, 100,000 households were affected in the capital and another 40,000 in surrounding communities. There were also plenty of businesses, gas stations, department stores, and the like.
As Florian Prosch, shift chief at the control center in Tyrol, calculates: “Eight volunteer fire brigades and the professional fire brigade were deployed in the city of Innsbruck and four voluntary fire brigades in the Innsbruck region”. In total there were about 40 missions, 30 of which were in the capital. In Innsbruck, for example, people were trapped in 21 elevators.
“Most elevators went into operation fairly quickly, either from an emergency generator or after the power outage was resolved. Fortunately there were no injuries. But some people panicked a bit,” the sports director concludes.
Nordkette cable car was in the air
The Innsbruck Nordkettenbahn and Hungerburgbahn were also affected by the power outage. In total, about 100 passengers were trapped. As director Thomas Schroll describes: “The Nordkette cable car has an emergency power generator that starts up after about 20 to 30 minutes. Then the gondolas drive into the station.”
It works differently at the Hungerburgbahn. “She was in the tunnel when the power outage happened.” The guests then had to walk towards Innsbruck via the emergency route, which is next to the railway.
“A power outage like this shouldn’t happen more often!”
Change of scenery: Innsbruck shopping mall managers agreed on a “Krone” broadcast: “A power outage like this shouldn’t happen often!” There were no special incidents such as customers getting stuck in the elevator – also because the elevators, for example, “automatically drive to the ground floor and open the doors” situations.
“We continue to test such emergencies. When such a thing happens in practice, other laws tend to prevail. But this time everything went perfectly,” says Sillpark Center Manager Markus Siedl. According to marketing manager Flora Schneider, Kaufhaus Tyrol was also well prepared for this opportunity: “The emergency generator took over the power supply of important infrastructure facilities and kept all emergency lighting and elevators in operation throughout the period.” Karl Weingrill, center manager of EKZ West, as well as his collaborator Dilara Önder.
“Customers followed all instructions”
A similar situation arose in DEC. “Thank God, the business partners responded exactly as they should in such an emergency. The customers were excellent because they followed all instructions,” says center manager Helmut Larch. There was no panic in the Greif Center either. “Every shop required patience from all sides, which is always annoying, but everything went smoothly,” emphasizes Daniela Martinek of Wetscher MAX Purchasing.
Endurance was also required in the town hall galleries. “It takes a while for the EDP and all the electronic devices in the whole house to start up again – because not everything works automatically, but has to be controlled manually. Of course something else is nice, but it is what it is,” explains boss Peter Retter.