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Thousands lose power, Broadway theaters close due to ‘mechanical issue’

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The Empire State Building, along with other structures in Manhattan, are dark due to a massive power outage on Saturday in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 13 (UPI) — Tens of thousands of customers lost electricity in Midtown Manhattan and Broadway theaters canceled performances Saturday night due to a “mechanical issue.”

“The blackout is between W 42nd St and 72nd St, from the Hudson River to as far as 5th Ave. NYPD has confirmed that there’s no foul play. This was a mechanical issue. NYPD & FDNY are currently responding to people with the most urgent needs, especially those stuck in elevators,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter from Iowa where he was campaigning for president.

The New York Post, which published photos of some of Times Square’s darkened video screens, reported a manhole fire was to blame for the outages, which happened on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City blackout.

“We are working to restore power to 42,000 customers primarily in the Westside of Manhattan. We will provide updates as we receive them. Thank you,” power company Con Edison tweeted at about 8 p.m. EST, roughly an hour after the lights went out.

“Power is being restored on Manhattan‘s Upper West Side and we’re estimating most customers will be restored at midnight,” Con Ed posted in an update at around 10:30 p.m. EST.

The population of New York City is estimated at 8.5 million.

Landmarks like the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie and Radio City Music Hall all lost power Saturday night.

Traffic signals weren’t functioning on some streets and subway service was disrupted, officials said. said performances were canceled for most Broadway shows, including Aladdin, Ain’t Too Proud, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hadestown, Hamilton, The Lion King and Mean Girls.

Jennifer Lopez was scheduled to perform a show at Madison Square Garden but the concert was canceled.

“The power is out in NYC and at MSG. Heartbroken to say tonight’s show is cancelled. We will reschedule. Love you all!!! Stay safe!” Lopez tweeted.

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