On August 29th, there was an unprecedented power outage that disrupted more than 80 trains, taking out half of New York City’s subway system for several hours. Hundreds of passengers were stranded that night, some even walking out into the tracks instead of waiting for rescuers. The cause of this breakdown: the power button being pushed.
According to AP News, outside investigators who were looking into the power outage said there was a “strong possibility” the emergency power button was accidentally pressed since the plastic guard designed to prevent accidental activation was missing. A pair of reports released by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul came to this conclusion. Hochul ordered a full review of operation control centers across the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to identify and fix potential weaknesses.
“New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in a fully functioning subway system, and it is our job to restore that confidence,” said the recently appointed Governor.
The power outage affected the subway system’s numbered lines and the L train for several hours beginning not long after 9 p.m. that Sunday. Restoration was delayed due to the passengers who walked out of the stuck trains, said officials. The chain of events that led to the power outage starts with a power dip that lasted several milliseconds at 8:25 p.m. and the discovery that several pieces of mechanical equipment at the New York City Transit Rail Control Center stopped functioning. The control center staff was working to get the equipment back into service, when somebody then pressed the emergency button causing all electrical equipment connected to one of the power distribution units at the center to lose power at 9:06 p.m. A mistake that ruined many of the passengers, and the workers, at night.
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