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Air advisory issued after power dips at refineries near Edmonton

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    The Canadian Press

    Sunday, September 22, 2013, 2:49 PM -

    Health officials in northern Alberta have issued an air quality advisory after a power failure forced refineries in the Edmonton area to flare off extra gas, creating clouds of thick black smoke. 

    Alberta Health Services says the advisory is precautionary, and applies to people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, or heart conditions. 

    AltaLink, which supplies power to the area just east of Edmonton known as "refinery row,'' says earth-moving equipment damaged a line early Saturday. 

    Company spokesman Scott Schreiner says it caused a voltage dip rather than a complete failure, but it affected operations for a number of industrial customers. 

    Schreiner says no one was hurt. 

    Full power was restored later in the morning, but some refineries say extra flaring could continue throughout the weekend.

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