According to United Press International, Northwest Airlines flights around the world were delayed Tuesday after a construction crew severed communications cables near the carrier's headquarters in Eagan, MN, outside Minneapolis.
The outage knocked out the airline's communications system for more than three hours, forcing Northwest to cancel approximately 120 of its 1,700 daily flights. The airline said in a statement that the problem began about 2:05 p.m. CST when contractors for McLeod USA, a Cedar Rapids, IA-based telecommunications company, cut through two 288-fiber U S West cables in Eagan that link Northwest's mainframe computers to airport facilities globally.
Northwest said that U S West's backup system also failed. Data systems serving Northwest's main operations center were restored at 5:25 p.m., but the airline said it anticipated some delays for the rest of its Tuesday flights. Normal operations were expected to resume Wednesday.
The cut cable also shut down Northwest's Internet site, www.nwa.com.