About two dozen stores at the Mall of America were without power for several hours Sunday after an accident that left a mall electrician with electrical burns.
The extent of the electrician's injuries was not disclosed, but he was taken to a hospital for treatment after the incident early Sunday afternoon.
Power was restored to the affected stores, most of them on three levels on the west side of the mall, by about 6 p.m. Sunday, said Mall of America spokesman Dan Jasper.
The mall's west side is flanked by Macy's and Nordstrom. Those two large department stores were not affected and neither were any of the rides in the amusement park inside the mall, he said.
Jasper said that some, but not all, of the affected stores closed for the day during the outage. Among them was Tucci Benucch restaurant, which normally serves 400 to 500 customers on a Sunday.
Also affected were a crepe stand next door to the restaurant, the H&M store and several kiosks on the main floor.
"I was just working, and then everything just went off," said Victor Zepeda, a worker at the crepe shop.
He said mall security workers quickly alerted shops and workers about what needed to be done. "Everything seemed to work," Zepeda said.
Jasper said the electrician was working in a utility room when the accident happened. The roughly two dozen businesses affected are but a small percentage of the more than 500 stores in the mall, Jasper said.
Thousands of customers and shoppers were still able to enter and leave freely, and most of them appeared unaware of the problem.
The biggest issue seemed to be the darkness in the parking ramp across the street from Macy's. The ramp was operating on emergency power, meaning that about half of its overhead lights were out. Extra officers were added to handle traffic and to patrol in the mall.
"We were wondering what was going on, why it was so dark," said Jenna Illikainen, 20, who had traveled with a friend from Duluth to shop at H&M, which was due to close at 7 p.m. anyway.
"It's kind of a bummer," said Joy Albrech, 20, also from Duluth. "We don't have an H&M in Duluth, and we came down to shop there."
Heron Marquez Estrada 952-746-3281