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Thousands lose power, Broadway theaters close in blackout

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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.

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