Georgia Power investigates fire that caused airport outage

Image 1 of 3

Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that knocked out power to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for more than 10 hours on Sunday. 

App users: View full article here

Georgia Power released images Monday morning of the damaged electrical equipment where the fire broke out. Officials say they think a piece of switchgear in an underground electrical facility may have failed, causing the fire. 


FOX 5 spoke with Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers Monday morning, who said the switchgear operates in between the main source of power for the airport and the backup. The fire caused damage to the tube that carries power into the airport. 

"This fire was located adjacent to redundant circuit cables and switching mechanisms serving the airport and those cables were damaged, resulting in the outage and loss of redundant service methods," airport officials said late Sunday. "The fire was safely extinguished by fire crews before Georgia Power could enter the area to assess damage and begin repairs."

Bowers told FOX 5's Marc Teichner the company may look into moving the tubes further away or encasing them in concrete to prevent something like this from happening again. 

Power was restored to the airport shortly before midnight, but delays continue as the airport works to get back to normal operations. Lines were as long as 3+ hours as passengers worked to rebook flights Monday. 

MORE: Crowds fill Atlanta's airport the morning after a crippling power outage