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The heat may have caused a New York subway train to lose power, stranding commuters for about 2 1/2 hours. About 70 people had to be evacuated. A transit spokesman said the power loss may have been caused when the "third rail" _ which powers the train _ buckled.
A train derailment in rural Oklahoma's Lincoln County on Monday afternoon might have been attributable to the heat, Highway Patrol Capt. Stewart Meyer said. There were no injuries.
One of LaGuardia International Airport's four terminals and part of a second lost power in New York when high demand caused by the heat triggered equipment problems.
In Illinois, state officials made more than 130 office buildings available as cooling centers. Detroit cranked up the air conditioning in 11 of its libraries and invited the public to take refuge from the heat. In Kentucky, Louisville officials offered free fans or air conditioners to those in immediate need.
The heat pushed power consumption to a record in some states, and calls also went out for electricity conservation. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state offices to adjust thermostats and turn off nonessential lights for the rest of the week.
PJM Interconnection, which operates the electric grid for all or part of 13 states and the District of Columbia, asked people to reduce usage, especially between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In Chicago, the stifling weather prompted organizers of the Gay Games to deliver extra water and sports drinks to athletes. Spokesman Kevin Boyer said organizers asked competitors to bring extra ice and fluids to various events.