Delta Says Small Fire Was Partly to Blame for Computer Failure

Passengers wait in line to speak with Delta Airline Inc. representatives at LaGuardia Airport in the Queens borough of New York, on Aug. 8, 2016.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

A small fire at Delta Air Lines Inc.’s computer center was partly to blame for the network failure that caused massive cancellations worldwide on Monday, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based carrier said.

The fire was extinguished without assistance from the local fire department, the spokesman said Thursday, declining further comment. 

A power-control module at the company’s Atlanta command center failed and caught fire, leading to the electric surge and a loss of power to the company’s computers, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also, about 300 of Delta’s 7,000 servers weren’t wired to backup power, a vulnerability that the company hadn’t been aware of, Bastian told the newspaper.

Delta canceled more than 2,100 flights through Wednesday after the computer-network failure, which started around 2:30 a.m. Monday. The company’s computers were down until about 8:30 a.m.

The airline reported 25 cancellations as of 9 a.m. Thursday, some of which were weather-related.

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