Blackout hits Britain, causing commuter chaos

A blackout has hit large parts of Britain, disrupting train travel and snarling Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic.

London, the south-east and north-west of England, and Scotland were impacted, leaving hundreds of thousands of people temporarily without electricity.

Power supplier National Grid said issues with two generators caused the loss of power and they had since been resolved.

Many people reported the outage lasted just a few minutes, but the impact on travellers was severe.

London's transit operator said some traffic lights in the city had been knocked out, and advised drivers to be careful.

National Rail Enquiries, which is run by Britain's train companies, said power supply problems caused disruption to a "large number of train services".

Rail services across the country were cancelled or delayed during the Friday evening rush hour, and commuter trains powered by overhead wires ground to a halt mid-journey.

London North Eastern Railway said all services were suspended in and out of King's Cross, one of London's busiest stations. It tweeted: "Customer advice is DO NOT TRAVEL."

The power failure came as heavy rainstorms drenched the London area, causing flooding at Luton Airport, about 47 kilometres north of the capital.

The airport said in a statement the "unprecedented rainfall" caused "water damage in a number of locations in the terminal" and apologised for the disruption.