Electrical problem plunges parts of IWK into darkness

An electrical problem at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax on Friday evening left nurses moving patients from the neonatal intensive care unit through dark hallways to other areas of the building that had power.

The power was also out in the emergency department, women’s in-patient unit and pharmacy from about 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

“Luckily this time of year our patient counts are lower,” said IWK spokesperson Nick Cox. “Those patients who can go home do go home. So we had lots of room to move people around.”

Cox said there was no problem with the power coming into the building, but rather an electrical issue within the facility. Safety features prevented the backup generator from turning on, he said.

“Think of it like your house — if you plug in too many toasters you might blow a breaker.… It’s that kind of idea,” he said.

Maintenance staff and external contractors identified and fixed the problem, which is not believed to pose an ongoing issue, Cox said.

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