Mayor Reed: No evidence fire that caused airport power outage was deliberate

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Mayor Reed: No evidence fire that caused airport power outage was deliberate

Thousands of passengers are stranded as Georgia Power works to restore power to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Officials said a fire in an underground facility led to the power outage around 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a news conference addressing the issue Sunday night.

We'll be monitoring the situation at the airport throughout the day -- Watch Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 for updates. 

During the news conference, he said there is "no evidence to suggest the fire was caused deliberately.”

He said it took crews nearly two hours to contain the fire.

Reed said strong fumes from the flames prevented Georgia Power crews from accessing the area immediately.

A Georgia Power spokeswoman said the airport has a “very redundant, very robust system.”

She said the switch that accesses the backup power system was also damaged in the fire, causing both systems to go down.

Once the fire was extinguished, crews assessed the damage and started repairs.

Power was restored to Concourse F around 7:30 p.m. Georgia Power officials expect power to be fully restored by midnight.

The mayor said a security sweep is underway at the airport.

“We have no way of absolutely knowing at this time that our system may have been tampered with in order to create this kind of chaos and confusion," Reed said.

Officials apologized for the inconvenience during the news conference and said their focus is on the comfort of travelers.

Reed said that stranded passengers will be bused to the nearby Georgia International Convention Center. He said officials are working with Chick-fil-A to provide meals.

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