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NYU Hospital Evacuated After Backup Generator Goes Down

UPDATE: 12:53 a.m. October 30, 2012

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Over 200 patients at New York University Langone Medical Center-Tisch Hospital were being evacuated Monday night, after power went out as a result of Superstorm Sandy and generators subsequently began to go down.

As CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported, power went down across Manhattan from 39th Street south to the southern tip of the island – a region that includes the hospital. Backup generators were in operation, but started to fail in the 11 p.m. hour, and an evacuation began.

An army of 50 to 70 ambulances lined up along 30th Street at First Avenue, where the hospital is located. They lined up all the way up First Avenue around the corner to 30th Street, and backed up.

Robert Grossman, Dean Of NYU Medical Center, told CBS 2's Brennan that "We've had a number of power failures of primary and secondary backup systems."

"[We're] trying to evacuate our patients from the hospital. Our patients are our main concern right now," Grossman said.

Making things more complicated is the fact there are no elevators in the building and many patients are being carried down stairs.

CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. John LePook was among those who came to the scene to help. He said 20 babies in the neonatal unit, four of which were on ventilators, were removed from the hospital.

Grossman said the patients were being taken to Mt. Sinai, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the Hospital for Joint Diseases.

The hospital appeared still appeared to have very low light, but power was soon to go altogether. In the lobby, stretchers were set up all around, and many people were milling around asking questions for which no one was available to answer.

Meanwhile in the lobby, family members were inside asking what was going on. No one was sure how long evacuation would take.

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