After dangerous power outages caused by flags and bunting, a New Zealand electricity company has warned Rugby World Cup fans to be careful how they display support for their teams.
Auckland-based Vector Electricity said over-enthusiastic displays of tournament memorabilia had caused two power cuts in the country's largest city.
AdvertisementIn one street, 70 metres (230 feet) of underground cable had to be replaced when a resident who planned to erect 15 flagpoles on his property dug too deep and cut power lines.
Elsewhere in the city, a piece of bunting was blown across overhead power lines, short-circuiting electricity supplies to about 50 homes.
Auckland's suburbs are festooned with flags for the rugby showcase, with most supporting the All Blacks but displays of Tongan, Samoan and Fijian colours also prominent in a city with a large Polynesian population.
Vector said it had launched a radio advertising campaign to warn residents about the potential dangers of stray bunting and planting flagpoles without checking for power lines.
"Obviously we are concerned for people's safety," spokeswoman Sandy Hodge told the Dominion Post newspaper.
"That's 11,000 volts, if they were to have struck it, they would have been electrocuted, so not a pretty picture.
"While we love the fact that people are supporting their teams, they need to be careful where they are putting footing for the flagpoles, because they are right next to cables."
She said the main concern from drifting flags and bunting was that children would try to pull them down from live power lines.
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