March 27, 2019 / 2:20 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Electrical fire knocks out power to much of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

(Corrects proportion of outage to 'much' of the city instead of 'most,' headline and paragraphs 1 and 4)

March 26 (Reuters) - A fire at an electrical substation plunged much of the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, into darkness on Tuesday night, officials for power company Florida Power & Light said.

The power outage struck as Fort Lauderdale played host to throngs of visiting college students converging on the city and neigboring South Florida communities this month for spring break festivities, an annual beer-soaked rite of youthful revelry.

Nearly 32,000 Broward County homes and businesses were without electricity shortly after the fire erupted, according to a "Powertracker" map posted on the website of the utility, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc..

Company spokesman Chris McGrath said the outage left 22,000 Fort Lauderdale-area customers, out of approximately 115,000 in the city, without electricity. Another official, Sebastian Manrique, said lights were knocked out across much of Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami.

"We are aware of a service interruption and a fire at a substation in Fort Lauderdale," McGrath said. "Crews are on site working to restore power safely and as quickly as possible."

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The number of Broward County customers without electricity was down to about 21,300 within an hour of the first reports of the blackout. (Reporting by Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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