Atlanta airport: power restored after hundreds of flight cancellations | News | DW | 18.12.2017
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Atlanta airport: power restored after hundreds of flight cancellations

Power has been restored to the world's busiest airport in Atlanta after a sudden outage that grounded hundreds of flights. Passengers have been stranded in darkened terminals or in planes idling on the tarmac.

Power returned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US state of Georgia just before midnight, officials said Monday.

"Power has been restored on all concourses. 5,000+ meals are being delivered to passengers. Trains will be operational soon," the world's busiest airport announced on its Twitter page. 

A power blackout on Sunday afternoon brought operations to a standstill, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Flightradar24, a site that monitors air travel data, said over 1,000 flights in and out of Atlanta were canceled and that another 200 had been "proactively canceled for Monday." The  outage also led to delays at other airports, where Atlanta-bound planes were held on the ground.

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Various theories for the origin of the outage have circulated on social media, but the airport said "the cause of the incident remains under investigation."

Georgia Power said in a statement that a fire in an underground electrical facility had damaged substations serving the airport. It added that the cause of the blaze was unknown.

Passengers huddle in dark hallways as they wait for the lights to come back on in Atlanta's international airport (picture alliance/dpa/AP Photo/S. Schaefer)

Stranded passengers wait for the lights to return

Passengers stranded

Stranded passengers have posted pictures and videos on social media showing hundreds of people waiting in lines and walking through darkened hallways at the massive airport.

Some were reporting that people were not yet being allowed to leave the airport or were stuck sitting on idling planes.

"A lot of people are arriving, and no one is going out. No one is saying anything official. We are stuck here," Delta airlines passenger Emilia Duca told The Associated Press. "It's a nightmare."

The power outage hit just days before the start of the Christmas travel rush.

nm, rs/ng (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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