NEW YORK (AP) – A momentary power surge disrupted half of New York’s subway system for several hours and stranded hundreds of passengers, Governor Kathy Hochul said Monday.
The unprecedented breakdown affected more than 80 trains on the numbered lines of the subway system as well as the L train from Sunday shortly after 9 p.m. to Monday around 1.30 a.m., Hochul said.
The restoration of service was delayed because passengers in two of the stalled trains went on the tracks alone instead of waiting for rescuers from authorities such as the police and fire department to help them, Hochul said.
“We never want drivers to do that,” she said. “It’s dangerous and has delayed the restoration of power.”
Outside a subway system in Lower Manhattan, Hochul promised a thorough investigation.
“Let me be very clear,” said Hochl. “Last night was unacceptable. If you are one of these drivers or need safe transportation, the system has failed you. “
Hochul said Con Edison reported a “short-term” loss of a feeder just before 8:30 pm on Sunday, “causing a voltage dip in New York City.”
She said the outage was “temporary” and a backup system was activated. “But when they tried to get back to normal, there was a spike – an unprecedented spike – that caused the subway to lose signaling and communication skills,” Hochul said. “The coincidence of events that led to it has never happened before, to our knowledge,” she said.
A canal fire on Sunday evening, which was initially believed to be related to the subway break, appears to have nothing to do with, Hochul said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a virtual press conference that city authorities are working with the state and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to investigate the disruption. “We have to find out why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said de Blasio.
Hochul, a Democrat and former lieutenant governor who took over as governor of New York on Aug. 24 after Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, said subway service was back to normal for Monday morning shuttles.
No casualties were reported as a result of the disruption to the subway system.
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