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Many New Yorkers were surprised to look up on Thursday night and see the night sky illuminated an eerie, azure blue.
One video showed the light pulsating different colors at one point.
Despite the many comparisons to aliens and UFOs, officials had a perfectly normal explanation for the light: A transformer fire at the Con Edison utility site in Queens. New York police said the fire was under control as of 9:40 p.m. and no injuries were reported.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted that the lights were attributable to a ‘‘blown transformer’’ at the Queens facility. He said there were scattered power outages, including at LaGuardia Airport.
But power had been mostly restored to LaGuardia by 11 p.m. and the airport was resuming normal operations. Travelers were still asked to check with their carriers for updated flight information.
Con Edison said it had restored all major transmission lines associated with the event and was in the process of investigating the cause of the failure.
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ADVISORY: The lights you have seen throughout the city appear to have been from a transformer explosion at a Con Ed facility in Queens. The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available. Follow @fdny, @NYPD114pct and @conedison. pic.twitter.com/fdzQKs1wVV— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 28, 2018
Investigating a transformer explosion at Astoria East & North Queens Con Ed power plant. Please avoid 20th Ave & 31 st.— NYPD 114th Precinct (@NYPD114Pct) December 28, 2018
Fire officials said they were fielding numerous calls for reports of explosions in the Long Island City and Astoria areas.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority said power outages were affecting 7 trains.
This was the second major incident involving Con Edison in the last six months. In July, a steam pipe explosion spewed asbestos-laden vapor into the air in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, driving hundreds of people from their homes and businesses.
Meanwhile, some people began sharing their photos and videos of the strange light on social media.
Did something just happen at Con Edison? All the lights went out and then came back and there is a blue light and smoke where the grid is in Astoria. pic.twitter.com/jOKH2d3AzJ— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) December 28, 2018
Just landed at very dark LGA. Pilot says terminals evacuated, w/no power. Said we may have to go to Philadelphia or Hartford. pic.twitter.com/H0iGcq9A8S— carolynryan (@carolynryan) December 28, 2018