Widespread power outages hit parts of New York's Manhattan

Billboards in Times Square went down after a power outage in Manhattan on Saturday. Con Ed said more than 40,000 customers were without power in New York

The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) said: "We are working with Con Edison to determine the root cause of the ongoing power failure, which is affecting Midtown and the Upper West Side". And the transit officials warned people to "avoid below-ground subway stations".

The blackout stopped subway service, halted Broadway shows, disabled traffic lights and may have trapped people in elevators.

The power outage was caused by a manhole fire, according to tweets from the NYPD and the mayor. The New York City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, said on Twitter that there was a major disturbance at Con Edison's 49th Street substation, and that the utility was working to fix it. Con Edison had not yet responded to calls for comment, but tweeted that they were responding to a "widespread power outage".

The city's fire department was responding to numerous transformer fires, the first of which occurred in Manhattan on West 64th Street and West End Avenue, officials said.

The outage also saw some Broadway shows cancel their Saturday evening performances, including Best Musical Tony victor Hadestown and King Kong. ConEd initially said it was "responding to extensive outages on the west side of Manhattan".

"Several stations are now without power and are being bypassed by all trains", it posted on Twitter. "Disruption is significant. We'll have further updates soon - please follow @NotifyNYC".

Meanwhile, in Midtown west, in a neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen, a man takes it upon himself to direct traffic. Started feeling like I was in a post-apocalyptic movie as I made my way outside.

At Rockefeller Center, traffic lights were out. "We are running on generators!"

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.

At dawn, the Manhattan skyline shows no lights due to a power blackout, New York, New York, July 14, 1977. And it was a very hot day, as this reporter lived through it.

The CBS Broadcast Center was affected and turned to generator power.

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