The Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport made history on December 17th as thousands of passengers were stranded for nearly 11 hours after a fire combusted between an electrical vault somewhere near concourse E and F. During a press conference City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said a joint investigation showed the electrical fire was not deliberately set. He also stated that the safety and security of the airport was the main concern and reassured the press that the power would be back on later that night.
The power outage led the Federal Aviation Administration to declare a ground stop which prevented Atlanta-bound flights in other airports from taking off and causing inbound flights to be diverted. It was reported that an estimated 30,000 people were affected by the power outage and more than 1,000 flights were cancelled. Stranded passengers stated how they endured; price gouging, loss of communication, and hunger while they waited for hours before the power came back on. A passenger from North Carolina recalled how difficult it was to breathe in the thick smoke as they evacuated the terminal.
Through it all, everyone exhaled a sigh of relief and celebrated as the power was finally restored later that night.
Amanda Cooper, Entercom Radio