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Transformer explosion at NYC power plant lights up night sky

NYC transformer explosion
Transformer explosion leads to fire at NYC power plant; lights up night sky 10:48

A transformer fire at Con Ed power plant in the New York City borough of Queens led to a strange blue light lighting up the night sky. The New York Police Department said a transformer exploded at the utility company's facility in Astoria shortly after 9 p.m., CBS New York reports.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told CBS New York there were no injuries as a result of the explosion. Con Ed referred to the incident as a "brief electrical fire" and said the cause is under investigation.

CBS Newspath senior producer Heather Scott reported from Astoria the sky turned "super bright blue" and it "looked like daylight outside." While she didn't hear an explosion from about a mile away, Scott said the electricity flickered.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted the subway system has power, but there were delays on the local Queens 7 line. Con Ed is evaulating possible power outages. De Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted "scattered" power outages were reported elsewhere.

Street in Astoria, Queens after a transformer fire at a nearby Con Ed plant. Jeanmarie Evelly

Phillips tweeted there were not yet indications of local air quality issues. Health and environmental officials will continue to monitor, Phillips said.

The FAA issued a ground stop at nearby LaGuardia Airport at 9:36 p.m. with a power outage. Air traffic control facilities continued operations because they went immediately to generator power, said FAA Eastern Region spokesman Gregory Martin. The ground stop lasted about 45 minutes.

State Sen.-elect Jessica Ramos tweeted nearby Rikers Island, one of the country's largest corrections facilities, went on generator power.

The mysterious blue light caused many New Yorkers to turn to social media for answers, including many who wondered if it was aliens. Even Phillips wrote "not aliens" in his update.

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