75-Year-Old Woman Unknowingly Slices Internet Underground Cable, Armenia Gets Cut Off

April 7, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

This is something we call bizarre. Freak accidents just happen, but then consequences could turn out to be huge. That’s exactly what has befallen Armenia.

The whole country went out of Internet services following a crazy accident. Crazy, we say because the mishap happened when an elderly Georgian woman who was looking for copper to sell as scrap, cut through an underground fibre-optic cable.

Little did she know, her handiwork resulted in cutting off Internet services to all of neighboring Armenia. The 75-year-old woman was scavenging for copper somewhere near the capital city of Tbilisi.

The accident happened on March 28th, and it affected web users in the nation of 3.2 million people for up to five hours.

Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s Internet and the incident led to Internet providers such as ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa facing problems.

They were unable to undertake normal service without knowing as to what had really happened. It wasn’t just Georgia that was affected, some areas of Azerbaijan were also hit.

Officials who went searching for the origin of the problem deployed a system to monitoring the fibre-optic link from western Europe.

As soon as things became a bit clear, a team of security personnel reached the spot and arrested the woman. However, owing to her old age she was temporarily released.

The bizarre incident, though it might evoke a few laughs, could bring to the woman at least 3 years in prison if convicted. Web users in the meanwhile found they were at the wits end just due to the carelessness of the woman. The funny side of the story is that the local media went ga ga over the whole incident, and have named the woman ‘spade-hacker’.

Should the old lady be sentenced? What do you think?

(Original image by shioshvili)

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