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I'm a bit confused as to why they would be so quick to close the portal if all the Chitauri were powering down/dying? What's the big rush?

I think the only thing that could make sense would be the nuke blast coming through the portal, but the explosion seems way too far away to have done that?

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4 Answers 4

I always took it as protection of the city from the radioactive fallout of the nuke that just detonated on the other side.

Also, another explanation could be that no one was watching the troops since they were concentrating on the portal, so they didn't know at the time that they were all dead.

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I understood it to be that they didn't know that sending the nuke through the portal would actually affect the Chitauri or even stop them as it did. Therefore they only thought that closing the portal would make the difference. Tony didn't know that when he flew the nuke through there and neither did Black Widow.

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They did not know what else was coming. There could have been a huge alien about to come through which they could not have stopped therefore they had to shut the portal as quickly as possible even if it meant sacrificing Stark (who, btw, proved that he was the one to make the sacrifice play after all).

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If the distance between the blast and the portal was small, then it could have come through, so it would have to be closed as soon as possible. If the distance was large, then other Chitauri, not killed in the blast, could have come through.

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