Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Utility officials in Ohio said a power outage affecting about 400 customers was caused by released mylar balloons that came into contact with equipment and sparked an explosion.
Cleveland Public Power said Monday's power outage was caused when mylar balloons, also known as foil balloons, came into contact with high voltage wires and their metallic coating caused a small explosion.
The balloons are believed to have come from a small memorial set up for a woman who was killed in a road collision.
Art McKoy, a community activist who helps organize vigils in the city, said he is now working on coming up with an alternative to mylar balloons, which he told WJW-TV are sometimes intentionally released by people who feel they are "sending a message to their loved ones in the heavens."
"We're going to figure out another way to do it. It's going to take a little time because it's a tradition," McKoy said.