Blackout at Atlanta airport leaves thousands stranded

Hundreds of incoming and outgoing flights from the near total dark airport have been cancelled.
3:38 | 12/17/17

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Transcript for Blackout at Atlanta airport leaves thousands stranded
I'm Tom llamas. We want to get right to the breaking news as we come on the air. Right now, a crippling blackout in Atlanta at America's busiest airport. Just moments ago, they've announced they're trying to get everyone out of the airport. The airport appears to be in near-total darkness. Thousands of passengers confused and frustrated, crowding the terminals. Not sure when, or if, they'll get into the air. Hundreds of flights cancelled. And the blackout causing a ripple effect at other airports just as the holiday travel week gets started. Marcus Moore leads us off. Reporter: Tonight, the nation's busiest airport in the dark. Thousands stranded when the power went out without warning at Atlanta's Hartsfield international airport. Atlanta airport. No power, no light. I don't know how long it's been out. But we've been standing here in the dark for about 35 minutes. The lights flickered once, they didn't come back. Reporter: Passenge:s using flashlights to guide them. In some parts of the airport, E only sights and sounds, the emergency announcements. May I have your attention, please. An emergency has been reported. Reporter: Reports of smoke in the terminal coming from passengers. Along terminal "E" and black smoke. Reporter: Airport officials unable to confirm what caused the massive power outage, which shut down critical equipment and computers, stranding thousands of passengers. As many as 100 flights stuck on the tarmac. Pilots and passengers relying on social media for any updates. Some passengers led off planes, covering themselves for warmth as they huddle on the tarmac. David Robinson is trying to get home to Atlanta. We were scheduled for a 4:00 P.M. Flight, now we're being pushed to a flight on a 7:00, 11:00, and 12:00 flight for a group of six. Reporter: The drama unfolding in Atlanta. At least 600 flights now cancelled. More than 500 delayed. The power shutdown creating a ripple effect. More than 2,000 flights across the country already delayed. Marcus, any word on what caused this power outage, and how long it will last? Reporter: No word tonight from officials on what caused outage. And it's not clear how long it will take to get back up to 100%. We're seeing the ripple effects with our own eyes. In Dallas, look at the line of passengers trying to get to their destinations. We've met several frustrated passengers hoping to catch a flight home to Atlanta tomorrow, leaving the airport for the night. Marcus, thank you. Let's get right to former Marine Corps fighter pilot and ABC news contributor, Steve ganyard. This is a serious issue that you believe is going to affect travel for the coming days? I think for airlines that are headquartered in Atlanta like delta, it will have a cascading effect, and will take them a long time to figure out crew schedules and how to put the airplanes in the right place. Every hour without power compounds that delay. When the Atlanta airport lost power, there were planes in the air. Were any flights ever in any danger? What we know tonight is that the control tower maintained power. Nobody was in danger, but there will be a lot of people affected by this for a long time to come. Steve, thank you. Next tonight, president trump's transition team chipping

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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