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A TELECOMMUNICATIONS blackout that threw phone and internet connections in New Zealand into chaos was likely to have been cause by rats, the country's top telecom company said.
The outage also disrupted banking and air travel and closed the country's stock exchange with communications disrupted throughout much of the country for five hours.

Rats apparently chewed on a fibre optic cable running up the east side of the North island near the capital Wellington, Telecom New Zealand spokesman John Goulter said.

The problem was compounded when the fibre optic cable on the west side of the island was accidentally cut at the same time by workmen in Taranaki on the west coast.

Communications Minister David Cunliffe downplayed the problem as an accident and said: "I think getting two accidents of this type at the same time is a freak occurrence".,10117,15703868-13762,00.html

Player x already got the man with bullet in tongue one...
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