Posted on September 14, 2021

NYC Subway Breakdown Blamed on ‘Power off’ Button Being Hit

Associated Press, September 10, 2021

A recent power outage that disrupted half of New York City’s subway system for several hours and stranded hundreds of passengers was likely caused by someone accidentally pressing an “Emergency Power Off” button, according to investigations released Friday.

Outside investigators looking into the disruption on the night of Aug. 29 said there was a “strong possibility” that the button was accidentally pressed since the plastic guard designed to prevent accidental activation was missing {snip}


The button was pushed after a power dip lasting several milliseconds at 8:25 p.m. and the subsequent discovery that several pieces of mechanical equipment at the New York City Transit Rail Control Center stopped functioning.

Control center staff worked to get the equipment back into service. Then someone pushed the emergency button, causing all electrical equipment connected to one of the power distribution units at the center to lose power at 9:06 p.m. {snip}

Officials blamed the loss of power on human error and the failure to restore power for 84 minutes to inadequate organizational structure and a lack of guidelines.