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People carrying children head towards a waiting ambulance outside NYU Langone Medical Center in New York as the facility was evacuated Monday night, October, 29, 2012. In the midst of an outage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the hospital's backup power generator failed prompting the evacuation of most patients.
A backup generator failed at a New York City hospital Monday night, forcing it to move out more than 200 patients, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care.
Dozens of ambulances lined up around the block outside New York University Tisch Hospital as doctors and nurses began the slow process of evacuation. They started with the sickest and youngest. Some were on respirators operating on battery power.
"It's a challenging situation," NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman told WCBS-TV. "We drill all the time for this kind of thing. But this isn't a drill. This is the real thing."
Much of New York was plunged into darkness by superstorm Sandy, a monstrous hybrid system that swept across a huge swath of the East.
Most of the power outages in lower Manhattan, where Tisch is located, were due to an explosion at an electrical substation, officials at Consolidated Edison said. It wasn't clear whether flooding or flying debris caused the explosion, said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Con Edison.
Without power, there are no elevators, meaning patients — some of whom are being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses — must be carefully carried down staircases, Grossman said.
As the patients were evacuated, gusts of wind blew their blankets. Nurses and staff huddled around the patients, some holding IVs and other equipment.
Ambulances came from around the city to help transport the sick. Patients will be taken to other hospitals including Mount Sinai and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.
Patients were forced to evacuate one of New York City’s major hospitals late Monday after the power went out and then its backup generators failed.
Doctors, nurses and paramedics frantically moved 215 patients, many of them in critical care, out of New York University’s Langone Medical Center on Manhattan’s far east side.
Hospitals across the city are struggling to care for their patients after widespread power outages left more than 250,000 in the dark.
Frantic: Paramedics evacuate patients from New York University Tisch Hospital after a power outage left 5.7million people in the dark
Concerns: Medics help a patient into an ambulance during an evacuation of NYU Tisch Hospital, after its backup generator failed
Red alert: Emergency vehicles snake around a corner outside the NYU Medical Center
Painstaking care: Ambulances line up outside Tisch as doctors and nurses begin the slow process of taking people out
Ambulances lined up outside Langone in pitch darkness and worked to ferry sick patients away to other hospitals around the city.
Langone is one of the city’s top hospitals and sits directly off the banks of the East River at 30th Street. It serves as NYU’s teaching hospital.
Tisch, with 705- eds, is Langone medical center's flagship hospital.
Bellvue Hospital, which stands next door to Langone, is now running out of fuel for its backup generators and may be forced to evacuate patients, as well, according to WNYC.
In Brooklyn, Coney Island Hospital is dark after running out of power, the Huffington Post reported.
Small infants were seen being carried out of the hospital into waiting ambulances.
A mother was seen being wheeled into a stretcher as she clutched her newborn infant.
Fears: Medical workers assist a patient into an ambulance during the evacuation at Tisch
Poised: Ambulances line First Avenue in anticipation of patients being evacuated from Tisch, Langone Medical Center's flagship hospital
Critical: Emergency services battle to move 215 patients out of NYU Langone Medical Center
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: ‘The one thing that we had not counted on, New York University's hospital backup power, in spite of them making sure, ensuring us that it's been tested, has stopped working.
'And we're working with them to help move people out.’
Langone had previously vowed to stay open – though many of the 800 patients were released prior to the storm.
The 215 who remained were in urgent need of medical care.
Delicate operation: A patient at Hoboken University Medical Center in New Jersey is put in an ambulance ahead of Sandy's arrival
Prepared: Ambulances line up near the Hoboken University Medical Center as patients were moved during a mandatory evacuation of all ground floor units
About 45 of them were seriously ill, including children and babies in neonatal critical care.
Langone is one of the city’s top hospitals and serves as NYU’s teaching hospital.
It sits directly off the banks of the East River at 30th Street.
Patients were also evacuated from Hoboken University Medical Center in New Jersey in anticipation of the storm.
Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas as 60 million people living along the heavily populated North-East corridor braced for the onslaught.