06:54 PM CDT on Friday, April 22, 2005


The entire University of Texas campus was left in the dark Thursday night after a power outage.

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KVUE's Clara Tuma reports
A rat got into the electrical system, causing virtually every light on campus to go out.

The rat crawled across an electric switch gear and transformer about 10 p.m.

That set off a chain of events that put UT in the dark for more than an hour.

People were stuck in six of the 385 elevators on campus.

The fire department helped get those people out within 30 minutes.

The power outage also uncovered a problem with part of the school's emergency system.

Emergency lights in a section of the Texas Union did not turn on as they were supposed to.

Officials said that was a battery issue that has been fixed.

Emergency lights in every other building did come on.

Normally when the power at UT goes out, Austin Energy automatically steps in and supplies power.

But in this case, the short was so serious that the UT system turned itself off, so it wouldn't accept any more power.

Officials say had power been restored immediately, it likely would have caused electrical fires all over campus, so officials say the system worked the way they wanted it to.