By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A BRIDE and groom cutting their wedding cake were among 16,000 Gladstone region residents left in the dark on Saturday night.
The pair, along with 80 guests and other patrons at the Rocky Glen hotel, had to be evacuated due to a blackout caused by a circuit breaker malfunction at the South Gladstone sub-station, just before 9pm on Saturday.
Head chef Mat Hill said the hotel was lucky customers took the power outage in good humour.
"We were really lucky in that the customers took it in good part ? we had a busy dining area, public bar and a wedding function, which was a bit of a disaster for the couple, who were just cutting the cake as the lights went out,'' Mr Hill said.
He said guests waited for a short while to see if electricity would be restored, but were then evacuated for safety and security reasons.
"They all waited outside for taxis with good humour and what could have been a bad situation for us turned out OK because of the way patrons reacted,'' he said.
Mr Hill said the hotel was "mostly unscathed'' with everything back up and running since yesterday.
Ergon Energy corporate communications manager Bob Pleash said thanks to a quick response by local Ergon Energy crews, power was returned to residents in Calliope and Miriam Vale at 9.08pm, while Gladstone and Boyne Island residents' electricity supplies returned just after 10pm.
Mr Pleash said it was believed a fault on-line between South Gladstone and Calliope triggered the problem at the South Gladstone sub-station.
"Full power was restored without any incident, and Ergon Energy apologises for any inconvenience caused ? it's a credit to local crews that they were able to get the supply re-instated to such a large area in such a short time,'' he said.
Investigations were continuing.