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New York power outages darkens homes, streets and subway stations

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(CNN) – Tens of thousands of people were without power in Manhattan on Saturday evening, ConEdison said.

There were 42,000 customers without power in New York, most of them in Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side, the utility company said.

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.

“This appears to be something that just went wrong in the way that they transmit power from one part of the city to another,” he told CNN. “It sounds like it is addressable in a reasonable amount of time.”

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.

Several Broadway and off-Broadway shows said they were canceling performances, according to tweets aggregated by The Broadway League.

Firefighters were also responding to people trapped in elevators and subway cars, and they are operating all over Manhattan’s West Side from streets in the 40s to the 60s, according to an FDNY spokesman.

The outage was having a widespread effect on the New York subway system, which was experiencing power outages in its stations, the agency managing the trains said.

“We’re working to identify causes and keep trains moving,” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted.

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