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Alarms at Teck this morning caused by power outage

Trail residents may have heard loud alarms emanating from Teck Cominco's Trail smelter facility this morning, but Teck spokesman Richard Deane said there's no cause for alarm.

"We had a power outage this morning at roughly 10 a.m., which affected the entire operation," he said. "When the power goes out, all the the plant automatically shuts down, and plant alarms do go off to tell non-essential personnel to evacuate until the plant is back to normal operations."

He said power was restored within minutes to some sections of the plant, while it took an hour to get most of the facility back online. 

"The problem was with the transmission system that supplies power to Trail operations," he said. "The cause is still under investigation."

He said the transmission system is partly owned by Teck, but is interconnected with Fortis BC systems, but it's not clear yet which components malfunctioned and why.

As for the cost of such an interruption of production, he said they won't know until the day progresses, exactly what the impact of the power outage will be.