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Multi-state 911 outage affected 135 emergency calls in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has been investigating the CenturyLink outage.

The multi-state 911 outage that impacted Minnesota on Monday resulted in 135 emergency calls failing to be routed to a dispatcher, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety says.

These calls were made to 24 public safety answer points in Minnesota, CenturyLink's preliminary review found, according to DPS. 

However, DPS believes the 48-minute disruption was actually longer, and "a number" of 911 calls that failed to be routed to a dispatcher were not included in CenturyLink's review. 

What caused the multi-state outage is still under review, but CenturyLink did say the issue originated on a partnering vendor's platform when an "internal networking component failed to correctly forward traffic." That vendor is also conducting its own investigation. 

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DPS says it will continue to work to determine the "extend and reason of the outage."

“Simply put, calling 911 saves lives. This is why Emergency Communication Networks has made it a priority to maintain a dependable, state-of-the-art 911 system in Minnesota,” DPS-ECN Director Dana Wahlberg said in a news release. “Alternate, 10-digit numbers for dispatch centers should only be used in the event of an outage.”

The 10-digit alternate numbers for your county's 911 dispatch center can be found here. DPS encourages saving the number in your cell phone in case of an outage. 

Minnesota has 102 dispatch centers, which have received of an average of 58,884 911 calls per week during the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March. 

The other states impacted by the outage include North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Utah. 

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