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Power outage likely started in Ohio: U.S. officials

The failure of three transmission lines in Ohio likely triggered Thursday's power outage in northeast U.S. and Ontario

Three failed transmission lines in northern Ohio are the likely cause of North America's largest power blackout, investigators said Thursday.

The national body overseeing the reliability of the U.S. power system says three transmission lines failed in the Cleveland area.

Michehl Gent, head of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), says his organization is now trying to determine "why the situation was not brought under control."

"The system has been designed and rules have been created to prevent this escalation and cascading. It should have stopped, we think, after the first three line failures," Gent said during a telephone conference.

Council members are examining more than 10,000 pages of data, including automatically generated power logs.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is rapidly recovering from the crisis. All customers now have power in New York State and the subways are running.

The power is back in Detroit too, but people are being asked to conserve water until the water system is back to normal.

All customers have power in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and almost everyone in Connecticut and Ohio has been re-connected.

Prime Minister Jean Chrtien and U.S. President George W. Bush say they're teaming up to investigate what caused the largest blackout in North American history.

U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham says he has been asked to meet with Canada's Natural Resources Minister, Herb Dhaliwal this week.

Abraham says the investigation's goal will be to reassure both the American and Canadian public that such a major power outage will not happen again.

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