Fire Kills Power at Conn. Casino

Back-up power system failed, shutting down games, security

The Mohegan Tribal Power Authority and Mohegan fire officials were still investigating the fire, but Etess said foul play was not suspected.

Because of the timing of the incidents, the outages were manageable and guests were cooperative, casino officials said. It could have been different, though, if the electricity went out Wednesday night, when the casino expected 35,000 to come through for several events including a sold-out James Taylor concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The casino lost power a few years ago during a double lightning strike, but it was brief and all backup generators worked at the time, Mohegan Sun officials said.

Etess said he didn't expect major changes to the casino power systems. Mohegan Sun did a large-scale study of its electrical grid after Bellagio, a major casino in Las Vegas, had outages in 2004.

Foxwoods spokeswoman Sandra Rios said no noticeable overflow crowd veered there from Mohegan Sun during the outage. Rios said Foxwoods officials offered to help workers restore power at Mohegan, but she did not know if they accepted the offer.

Back at Mohegan, traffic was steady in the parking lots as the electricity came back on. About 11 a.m., six friends from Connecticut and Massachusetts piled out of an SUV. They heard about the outages on the radio, but were eager for a day of slots together.

"We said we have to come. And if we couldn't, we'd go elsewhere," said Lou Salisbury, a retiree from Woodstock.

Courant Staff Writer Jesse Leavenworth contributed to this report.