NewsBalkan blackout: Power failure triggers widespread chaos

Balkan blackout: Power failure triggers widespread chaos

Chaos in the Balkans. "Panic erupted" after the failure
Chaos in the Balkans. "Panic erupted" after the failure
Images source: © TG

9:43 PM EDT, June 21, 2024

The collapse of the power system in the Balkans was caused by a failure in the Montenegrin power transmission system. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, and part of Serbia were without power for several hours, leading to chaos in many cities. According to, "panic erupted" in shopping centers in Split.

In Split, Croatia, traffic lights stopped working, and emergency services sirens were constant. The newspaper Jutarnji list reported that the outage affected Makarska, Dubrovnik, Zadar, and numerous islands on the Adriatic.

As reported by, panic erupted in shopping centers after the failure. "The entire city faced a power outage. The appropriate services were informed. Emergency announcements in Croatian and English could be heard. Visitors fled en masse during this time," the report stated.

Due to the non-functioning traffic lights, people were stuck in shopping center parking lots, and there were also problems with exits.

“Slobodna Dalmacija” wrote that due to power outages on city roads, "unbearable traffic jams" prevailed. In Split, firefighters conducted 25 interventions for people trapped in elevators and several due to generator shutdowns. The services were also receiving "dozens of calls from agitated citizens."

Bosnian newspaper Oslobodzenie reported that traffic lights stopped working in Sarajevo, the capital of BiH, and trams halted. Tuzla, Banja Luka, Mostar, and Zenica also lost power.

Almost all residents of Montenegro were without electricity, announced the Montenegrin Electricity Distribution System (CEDIS).

In a brief communication on Facebook, the company stated that the problem was due to a failure in the national power transmission system. According to national media, a fire broke out on one of the transmission lines.

Luka Petrović, director of the company responsible for electricity distribution in the Republic of Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina), told Radio Free Europe's Balkan Service that the cause of the power outages in most of BiH was "a failure in Montenegro's power grid."

Danko Blažević, Director of the Power System Management Sector at HOPS, explained that in such cases, relay protection systems are activated, which react in a fraction of a second and maximally limit the short circuit to the area.

Balkan media reported that no dangerous incidents occurred in hospitals during the outage. Generators were activated in all facilities.

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