Bright light mystifies New Yorkers after transformer fire

A blue light caused by a transformer explosion at a power plant in Queens

LaGuardia Airport resumed normal full operations overnight after an electrical emergency at a Con Edison substation in Queens lit the night sky across much of New York City and spawned a flurry of social media reaction.

In this image taken from video, the night sky is illuminated in a bright, blue color after an explosion in the Queens borough of New York, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018.

The blue light prompted a wave of commentary on social media, with New Yorkers joking about its origins.

NY mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips said there are scattered power outages in the city, including at LaGuardia Airport.

Power outages caused problems in the subway service and a brief grounding at LaGuardia Airport.

In October 2017, a transformer on Cherry Street blew up with enough force that residents of neighboring Two Bridges apartments said they felt their buildings shake, though no power outages were reported.

An FDNY spokesman said firefighters responded to the blast on 20th Ave.in Steinway at about 9:20 p.m.

"There was a boom and a bag and a flash of light", said Jim Long from Fire Department New York.

The scattered power outage has also interrupted traffic at LaGuardia Airport, with only certain flights allowed to depart.

A subsequent NYPD tweet confirmed that the "incident in #Astoria [Queens] was result of transformer explosion".

Explosions at Con Edison facilities have previously caused dramatic scenes in New York City. It turned out there had been a fire at the Con Edison power plant in Queens, which led to a huge explosion and a dramatic, bright neon-blue sky.

An electrical fault is basically just an electrical current that isn't behaving as it should, and Con Edison is still investigating what caused the fault in this case.

Some began looking for a scientific explanation as to why a power plant failure would produce blue light specifically.

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