The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport experienced a power outage around 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon, stranding thousands of travelers and grounding as many as 100 flights, reports ABC News. An underground fire caused extensive damage to Georgia Power"™s electrical facilities that serve the airport, but the exact cause of the outage has not been officially confirmed yet.
Hartsfield-Jackson is one of the world"™s busiest airports and serves as a major hub for Delta Airlines. An average of 275,000 passengers passing through it with approximately 2,500 flights arriving and departing from the airport each day, and the airport is busier than usual this time of the year thanks to the holiday season. However, a power outage today cancelled all flights in and out of the airport and caused even more planes to be diverted.
The lights flickered once. That was really scary. And then they flickered again and they didn"™t come back. And it"™s been about an hour now and it"™s just pitch darkness in the airport.
Some travelers had to be evacuated from the areas closest to the fire, and directions given to travelers stuck in the mess were often confusing at best, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote of the scene in Concourse D:
Olivia Dorfman described to The AJC by phone what she witnessed in Concourse D when the power went out.
"Maybe 10 minutes later a buzzer went off in the background … and every so often bright lights flash in the ceiling," Dorfman said…