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Power outage at LAX grounds flights and strands travelers

Key Points
  • More than 50 flights are canceled at LAX following a more than three-hour power outage.
  • The outage Wednesday night prompted cancellations by United and Southwest Airlines.
  • TSA is rescreening travelers Thursday morning.
Ticket counters in LAX airport
Lawrence K. Ho | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

A power outage at Los Angeles International Airport has stranded hundreds of travelers after it prompted airlines to cancel more than 50 flights and delay others scheduled for Thursday.

The more than three-hour outage Wednesday night was due to a problem at an offsite substation and power was restored to some facilities as late as 10:45 p.m. PDT, the airport said.

Southwest Airlines temporarily halted flights to and from LAX on Thursday through 8 a.m. PDT, after it canceled about 40 flights on Wednesday night, spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said. Eleven Southwest flights were canceled on Thursday, the airport said.

The Transportation Security Administration was planning to rescreen travelers, a process the airport said would take around an hour. Law enforcement cleared the terminal to conduct a security sweep, sending travelers to public areas.

"An airline granted passengers whose flights were cancelled access to their checked bags, resulting in the unintentional introduction of prohibited items into the secure area of the airport," the TSA said. "Out of an abundance of caution, TSA leadership at LAX made the decision to re-screen the passengers."

United Airlines canceled four flights on Wednesday night and said it had to divert 11 others.

A half-day power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in December 2017 prompted airlines to cancel more than 1,100 flights, stranding thousands of travelers and raising concerns about airport infrastructure.

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