The OR Tambo airport was hit by a power failure after an Eskom transformer caught alight on Sunday morning. Picture: RICHARD WHALLEY/TWITTER
The OR Tambo airport was hit by a power failure after an Eskom transformer caught alight on Sunday morning. Picture: RICHARD WHALLEY/TWITTER

OR Tambo International Airport was plunged into darkness after a transformer at a Kempton Park substation caught fire on Sunday morning.

The Ekurhuleni municipality confirmed that the airport was one of a number of places affected.

Commuters said the power outage caused major inconveniences. Many took to Twitter to share their frustrations. The outage lasted about two hours.

On Sunday morning, Eskom confirmed that a transformer had caught alight in Kempton Park in Ekurhuleni.

“Eskom's transformer in Kempton Park caught fire affecting @City_Ekurhuleni customers. Ekurhuleni Emergency Services on site,” Eskom tweeted.

It said the cause of the fire would be established only once it was safe to investigate.

Emergency services could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

The municipality released video footage of the fire on its social media platforms:

Airports Company SA spokesperson Samukelo Khambule said that the power outage started at around 11am and lasted about two hours.

"Certain services were affected, such as people movers, retail outlets and some communication mechanisms. Airport operations continued, assisted by the back-up generator systems which ensured that critical infrastructure continued. Manual operations were also activated in main stream services such as baggage systems," said Khambule.

TimesLIVE

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.