Power has been restored after a blackout plunged midtown Manhattan into darkness for more than five hours. Broadway shows were cancelled, people were trapped in subways and traffic was snarled at intersections.
A large-scale blackout in New York City on Saturday evening left some 70,000 homes and businesses in the dark, stopped subway services and interrupted weekend festivities on a balmy summer evening in one of the busiest parts of the US city.
After the power went out, people were seen pouring out of darkened stores, restaurants and theaters into the streets. A section of Times Square was dimmed, Broadway shows were cancelled and traffic was snarled as intersections as traffic lights at intersections stopped working. People even reportedly began directing traffic themselves.
The New York Times reported that the fire department was responding to numerous calls of people trapped in elevators.
The city's power company, Con Edison, said the blackout began shortly before 7 p.m. As power began to be restored in parts of the city, shouts of celebration could be heard.
The fire department reported that a transformer explosion caused the outage. John McAvoy, chief executive of Con Edison told a news conference that the exact cause of the transformer malfunction was unclear, but that the incident did not appear to be related to an excessive load, and there was no indication of further outages.
The governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo, said in a statement that although no injuries had been reported, "the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable," and promised an investigation.
Saturday's outage occurred on the 42nd anniversary of a New York blackout that crippled the city and caused looting and rioting during a heat wave on July 13, 1977.
wmr/tj (AP, Reuters)