A massive power outage hit New York City's main island of Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, shutting down subways and causing chaos as traffic lights stopped working, according to a report by WABC TV News. Notably, the outage hit on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 New York City blackout that put nearly the entire city into darkness and led to widespread anarchy and looting for 25 hours.
Saturday's blackout, though widespread, appears to be limited to upper and midtown Manhattan — though according to a Washington Examiner report, the blackout extended to LaGuardia Airport in the borough of Queens, across the East River from Manhattan, where flights were delayed and terminals shut down.
According to freelance journalist Evan Siegfried, posting on Twitter, a "loud boom" preceded the blackout at approximately 6:50 p.m. Eastern. Siegfried said that he was located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when he heard the "boom."
The WABC TV report said that there were unconfirmed reports of a "transformer fire" at 64th street and West End Avenue on the Upper West Side, though the cause of the outage remained unknown as of 8 p.m. Eastern. State Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal on her Twitter account said that police reported a "manhole explosion" at 65th Street and West End Avenue, though other Twitter users noted that an underground transformer explosion could blow off a manhole cover.