Repair work was under way Thursday on the main power line into Los Angeles International Airport following an electrical outage that forced some flight cancellations then prompted a mass re-screening of passengers in Terminal 1.
The outage struck about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and was caused by a power `bump’ at an off-airport Los Angeles Department of Water and Power substation, which caused a power disruption throughout the airport, according to airport officials. It caused 21 flight cancellations and at least seven diversions of flights, according to an airport official.
Terminals 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal were automatically switched to backup power, and electricity was restored within an hour. Terminals 1, 7 and 8 had to be manually switched to backup power, and electricity was not fully restored until about 10 p.m.
Passengers on at least some Southwest Airlines planes at Terminal 1, where the airline is located, were unable to disembark because the jet bridges were not functioning.
Around 9:30 p.m., officials said Southwest Airlines had canceled 18 flights scheduled to leave Wednesday night.
Three United flights were canceled, seven others were diverted and 15 more were delayed, officials said.
Some passengers said they wound up spending the night in Terminal 1 but at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, security officials ordered the terminal cleared and everyone inside was forced to go through security screening again, leading to a long line that stretched far outside the terminal.
Airport officials said the action was “taken at the direction of the Transportation Security Administration and out of an abundance of caution.” On Twitter, a TSA representative reported that an airline had allowed some passengers to access their checked bags during the outage, which led to people bringing prohibited items into the secure area of the airport.
LAX Airport Police officers led the clearing of the terminal and security sweeps, and additional officers were brought in to assist with crowd and traffic control.
The re-screening was completed by about mid-morning, and airport operations were returning to normal.
Airport officials said Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were working to determine exactly what caused the outage, while also doing repair work on the primary power line into LAX. According to airport officials, additional backup generators were being secured in case additional outages occurred during the repair work.
LAX officials warned that the repair work, which was expected to be completed by Thursday night, might cause a lane closure on westbound Century Boulevard between Vicksburg Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard, although no “significant” traffic delays were anticipated.
“… But as with any trip to the airport, guests are asked to check on traffic conditions before leaving and to give themselves plenty of time to get to and through LAX,” according to the airport.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: