Blackout hits major sections of Manhattan

Blackout hits major sections of Manhattan

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A major power outage early Saturday evening struck the heart of New York City, including parts of midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side, where 42,000 customers were affected, according to utility Con Edison.

The city’s transit authority tweeted that multiple stations were not operational and were being bypassed.

The outage comes on the anniversary of the citywide blackout of 1977, which led to rioting and looting. That outage started on July 13 and ended the next day.

“We are working with Con Edison to determine the root cause of the ongoing power failure, which is affecting Midtown and the Upper West Side,” the New York City Transit Authority tweeted.

A senior city official with direct knowledge of the matter says it appears the outage was caused by a transformer fire. New York’s fire department, FDNY, tweeted it was at the scene of a transformer fire on West 64th Street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio subsequently said on Twitter that the source of the outage involved a “manhole fire.”

FDNY has units handling calls throughout the impacted area to assist people stuck in elevators, the department stated on Twitter.

At NBC News’ headquarters, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the outage darkened hallways and caused Nightly News to broadcast using backup generators.

Users of social media shared images of Times Square’s iconic billboards going lifeless, intersections without traffic lights and movie theaters emptying out.

This is a developing story.

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