Investigations: The Backlash from Q-29BW

At the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission operations center in suburban Toronto, a technician twisted a control handle to the right to raise the voltage. In the next three seconds, the $265 million 16-turbine Sir Adam Beck Generating Station No. 2 (see map) sent 1,600,000 kw. of power careering out of control through 80,000 sq. mi. of the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Thus, at 5:16 p.m. on Black Tuesday, began history's biggest power failure (TIME cover, Nov. 19).

It was no fault of the technician. The disruption began, Ontario Hydro explained last week, when a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!