A contractor doing maintenance work at a British Airways data centre inadvertently switched off the power supply, knocking out the airline’s computer systems and leaving 75,000 people stranded last weekend, the Times newspaper reported on Friday.

Quoting a BA source, the newspaper said the power supply unit that sparked the IT failure was working perfectly but was accidentally shut down by a worker. An investigation into the power outage is likely to focus on human error rather than any equipment failure, it said.British Airways IT Outage Reportedly Caused by Contractor Who Switched Off Power

BA had to cancel all flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports last Saturday. It blamed a power surge that knocked out its computer system, disrupting flight operations, call centres and its website.

Earlier this week, the board of British Airways was said to be set to demand an independent inquiry into a power outage which left 75,000 passengers stranded last weekend, the BBC reported on Thursday, citing sources.

BA suffered a public relations disaster over the holiday weekend when it had to cancel hundreds of flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

It blamed the incident on a power failure at a data centre near Heathrow and subsequent power surge which knocked out its computer system, disrupting flight operations, call centres and its website.

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