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Major power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Sunday

A power outage Sunday occurred at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport. It disrupted flights nationwide just as people begin the busy Christmas travel week. In fact, nearly 1,000 flights to and from the airport had been canceled Sunday. International flights were diverted to other airports.

There were reports that some planes sat on the tarmac for more than six hours waiting to move. Three major airlines - American, Southwest and United - canceled arrivals and departures at the airport Sunday as a result of the power outage. Officials said Sunday night that the power outage started with a fire in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility which caused extensive damage. However, the exact cause of the fire has not been determined.

Atlanta-airport-in-darkness

Atlanta International Airport in darkness

Delta Air Lines has canceled 300 flights Monday and was offering its customers traveling Sunday and Monday the opportunity to make a one-time change to their travel plans without penalty. After more than six hours, power had been restored to one of the seven concourses. “First and most importantly, I want to express my sincere apologies to the thousands of passengers whose day has been disrupted in this manner,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said at a news conference in the night. The airport serves as a major hub for travel throughout the southeastern region of the country. It has 209 domestic and international gates.

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