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Massive power outage in New York City

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A manhole fire caused extensive power outages across Manhattan's west side early Saturday evening, plunging subway stations, Broadway theaters and department stores in the heart of the Big Apple into darkness on the 42nd anniversary - almost to the hour-of the 1977 blackout.

Additionally, the outage closed down a Jennifer Lopez concert, the second of her two-night "It's My Party" tour run in New York City.

Widespread power outages were reported in parts of Manhattan on Saturday evening, with subway stations affected and street lights out after an apparent transformer explosion on the Upper West Side.

The outage occurred on the 42nd anniversary of a NY blackout that crippled almost the entire city during a heat wave on July 13, 1977.

NBC News correspondent and anchor, Kate Snow, tweeted a picture of a dark hallway at the network's headquarters, and said staffers were forced to use backup generators to broadcast Saturday's edition of Nightly News.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was campaigning for president in Iowa, said it appears the outage was the result of a mechanical problem in the electrical grid.

An update from ConEd at 8.08pm read: 'We are working to restore power to 42,000 customers primarily in the Westside of Manhattan'.

The Twitter account for NY subways said the agency is working to keep trains moving and will bypass affected stations.

On Twitter, Con Edison described the outage as "extensive".

The cast of the musical Hadestown entertained people waiting outside the Walter Kerr Theatre.

The outages were affecting "multiple lines", the MTA said.

Manhattan residents and visitors took to Twitter to post photos of the city without power, including eerie photos and video of pitch-black subway stations. It advised people to stay away from underground stations.

Police officers waved people out of the Columbus Circle subway station around 7:30 p.m.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted that Con Edison had reported a "major disturbance" at a substation on West 49th Street. The power was gradually restored throughout the next day.

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