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Power of love: Valentine's balloons knock out electricity

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Feb. 16, 2016 at 10:58 AM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A California utility company said Valentine's Day balloons elicited emotions other than love when they struck lines and knocked out electricity to 5,000 customers.

Southern California Edison said a bundle of runaway Mylar Valentine's Day balloons collided with power lines in South Los Angeles Monday evening and knocked out the electricity to more then 5,000 customers.

Edison said downed wires were reported in some areas and power was expected to be restored sometime Tuesday morning.

"Metallic balloons look harmless, but there's no way to overstate how dangerous they can be when released outside," Paul Jeske, SoCal Edison's director of corporate health and safety, said in a statement quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

The utility released a warning prior to Valentine's Day asking customers to avoid releasing the balloons outdoors or tying them to a person's wrist, as that poses an electrocution risk.

SoCal Edison also asked vendors to attach weights to Mylar balloons to keep them from floating away.

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