The power outage in New York turned into a crime triggered the same day 42 years ago

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But this was not the first time that a major power outage hit the city on exactly the same date. In 1977, at the beginning of a sweltering heat wave, a 25-hour blackout ruined the city.

During the blackout decades ago, people didn't help drive traffic and accelerate it, as they did on Saturday. At that time, the fury of a crime broke out as people filled the dark streets, looted and set fire to the shops.

In all of Queens, in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx, over 1,000 fires have been placed, including 60 of which are major. Nearly 2,000 properties were vandalized, two people died and 436 police officers were injured, according to a government study.
"For the looters, vandals and arsonists, it was Christmas in July, a party, a carnival, a holiday," said Milton Lewis, a CNN KABC affiliate.
Customers talk to an employee of a New York City bus tour company after their Manhattan trip Saturday.

Within a day, there were nearly 3,000 arrests, a study commissioned by the Electric Energy Systems division and the Energy State Department.

"In the areas most affected by looting and vandalism, the large amount of waste, garbage and spoiled food required the addition of 82 sanitary trucks and 4,000 workers to deal with the cleaning operation," says the study.

Watch the power return to the middle of a press conference

Then, the system collapsed for several reasons

The 1977 blackout was caused by a combination of events.

The thunderstorms that rained on the city that night triggered malfunctions in the Con Edison system, which eventually darkened. The Con Edison system has collapsed from a combination of natural events, equipment malfunctions, questionable system features and operational errors, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

"Of fundamental importance, however, was the lack of preparation for major emergencies, so that operations staff did not use the facilities at hand to prevent a system-wide failure," the commission said.

That blackout had an estimated cost of $ 350 million, according to the study.

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