Manhattan power outage affects tens of thousands, subway system

66th Street station seen during a blackout caused by widespread power outages in this still frame taken from video in New York City

The MTA later added: "Because of the ongoing power outages, there is limited subway service into Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx".

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that the outage was caused by a manhole fire. The MTA urged residents "to avoid below-ground subway stations" until Con Edison could restore power.

The local energy company Con Edison said about 42,000 people had been deprived of power.

A power failure struck the West Side of Manhattan on Saturday evening, plunging subway stations into darkness, stalling trains, stranding people in elevators, and for a time leaving parts of Times Square without its customary bright lights, according to authorities.

CBS2's Alice Gainer was at one of the subway stations in Midtown where power has completely gone out.

A Reuters witness in the area reported hearing an explosion at about 7 p.m. (2300 GMT), and a New York City Fire Department spokesman said firefighters were on the scene of a transformer fire.

The outage also saw some Broadway shows cancel their Saturday evening performances, including Best Musical Tony victor Hadestown and King Kong.

"We are responding to extensive outages on the Westside of Manhattan", Con Ed said in a tweet.

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New Yorkers are also calling for help through social media, as at least one person has been trapped in an elevator by the outage.

While trains are still running despite the outage, the stations without power are being bypassed by trains until power is restored.

The outage is believed to have affected the Rockefeller Center.

The power outage comes on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 citywide blackout that went for 25 hours and left millions in the dark, leading to a spree of looting and violence. The utility did not immediately respond to phone messages, and it was unclear when they expected power to return.

Another user posted a photo showing a man at 66th Street and Broadway directing traffic.

13th July 1977: A restaurant with only liquor left after the NY blackout.

The CBS Broadcast Center was affected and turned to generator power.

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