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Brisbane Lions’ clash with Melbourne Demons marred by bizarre power outage at the GABBA

The GABBA has plunged into darkness and a light-tower burst into flames in a bizarre end to Brisbane’s heavyweight clash with Melbourne.

The Lions led by 40 points with just 12 minutes to play in the Friday night blockbuster when lights, including a bank of floodlights went out.

Commentators reported hearing a bang before the sudden outage, with another heard after a few minutes.

Channel 7 is reporting an explosion at the Vulture Street end of the ground was the catalyst for the issue, with fire crews currently working in the area.

One globe on an effected tower then burst into flames

AFL officials scrambled to fix the scenario in the darkened centre square, while teams met briefly in the middle of the ground, before heading to the rooms.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Charlie Cameron of the Lions celebrates a goal during the 2023 AFL Round 02 match between the Brisbane Lions and the Melbourne Demons at the Gabba on March 24, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Camera IconBrisbane ran riot in the first three quarters. Credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Players will sit out a minimum 20-minute break. If the ground is not playable in 60 minutes, the score will stand.

“The Gabba is investigating a technical issue that is impacting the venue’s power,” a statement on the stadium’s scoreboard read.

One-by-one, globes on the tower turned back on.

AFL rules stipulate if the game is not resumed within half-an-hour, the result will stand — given the match had passed half-time.

Melbourne, who had been smashed by a Lions clearance masterclass, continued to run rotations during the break.

The outage has shades of a similar incident in 1996, where St Kilda and Essendon were forced to continue a postponed two days later.

On that night at Waverley, fans stormed the field and lit fires during the delay.

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