Substation fire caused blackout in midtown Manhattan

The blackout cut out power to over 40 blocks, including Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza and Madison Square Garden, where Jennifer Lopez was performing.
2:44 | 07/15/19

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Transcript for Substation fire caused blackout in midtown Manhattan
Next tonight, to the blackout mystery in New York City, paralyzing much of Manhattan last night. This is the moment inside a packed Madison square garden at the j.lo concert, when the lights went out. The massive outage triggered by a substation fire. You can see in the aerial images, including times square and Rockefeller center. And while electricity was restored, the power company is apologizing, and there are still questions about what caused that here's erielle reshef. Reporter: Tonight, the city that never sleeps is very much awake after that major power outage Saturday night sent a large swath of Manhattan screeching to a halt. We have a smoking transformer right in the middle of the intersection. Multiple buildings without any power. Reporter: Midtown and the upper west side of the city plunging into darkness around 7:00 P.M. On a steamy Saturday night. We experienced a significant disturbance at one of our electric transmission stations. That eventually interrupted power to approximately 73,000 customers. Reporter: The governor deploying state police and the National Guard. Emergency crews racing to about 400 reports of people trapped in elevators. There's people trapped in elevators in both towers. Reporter: This dog leading the way up a staircase by glow stick. Early on, terrorism ruled out. I was in contact with the New York office and the FBI. They said it was not a cyber event. There was no criminality involved. Reporter: The blackout shutting off stoplights at busy intersections. Some subway stops partially paralyzed. Many passengers stuck underground. In iconic times square, normally vibrant billboards, tch black. And on Broadway, lights out. Due to a citywide power outage, we're going to interrupt this event. Reporter: And a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison square garden stopped midstream. The massive venue evacuated. During those eerie five hours, New York City mayor bill de Blasio trying to reassure new yorkers from the presidential campaign trail in Iowa. There are plenty of situations where I would go home immediately, there are others where I would not. Reporter: Today returning home to brief the public. I am in regular touch with my folks, confirming the situation has been handled properly. Erielle, the electric company is investigating. Do officials know what caused the blackout? Reporter: They've identified the station, but they say it could take a couple of weeks to determine. Officials said everybody had power restored by midnight, and that was their priority. Erielle, thank you. Up next to the immigration debate, president trump turning

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