A massive electrical power outage during the peak summer demand period threw more than 300 million people in the dark across northern India, including the capital, Delhi, creating chaos and disrupting railways, hospitals and other services such as water treatment plants.

The blackout — which impacted Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand and Chandigarh — was the worst such disturbance in India in a decade and underscores the crisis in India of an overburdened and aging power grid system.

The Hindu newspaper reported that power ministry officials believe the failure was caused by a malfunction in the grid near the city of Agra. However, other reports suggest that power outage was caused by excessive demand of electricity due to the extreme heat of the mid-summer.

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