(TIML NEWS) So allegedly A transformer fire in Queens sent an eerie blue light flooding the nighttime sky Thursday night as electricity flickered in homes and an airport was plunged into darkness.
Con Edison says a brief electrical fire involving transformers broke out at the substation on 20th Avenue and 32nd Street in Astoria, causing a transmission dip in the area.
The fire lit the sky so brightly that it briefly appeared to be daytime in neighborhoods like Astoria and Woodside, residents reported. Smoke arose from the source of the blue light, visible from as far as Manhattan.
Though small, the fire had a large impact citywide. LaGuardia Airport went dark, Rikers Island jail is on backup generators, and the 7 subway line saw major delays in both directions, according to Con Edison, but service has since returned to normal.
NYPD officials on scene said it appeared to simply be equipment malfunction, and there was no sign of any sort of nefarious interference. There was no visible damage inside the Con Edison plant.
A pilot near JFK Airport also described the stunning scene when the transformer exploded, dispatch recordings receal.
“Eleven o’clock, it looks like a massive fire,” he’s heard saying in a dispatch with the JFK tower.
“JetBlue 1186, you see that light out there? You know what that is?” one voice is heard in the tower transmissions.
“Yes sir, and no, we do not, not at all, sorry,” another voice responds. “We see colors like that off the clouds.”
In another tower transmission, a voice is heard saying, “Delta 1197 Heavy, let me know if you’re able to see what that light is out there.”
The Delta pilot said, “It’s on the ground lighting up the sky.”
The tower responded, “You don’t know what it is?”
“Negative,” the pilot said. “Blue-green color, does not look like typical flames.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state police and the Public Service Commission were ready to support local authorities in the investigation.
It 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 the Flatiron District, driving hundreds of people from their homes and businesses.
ConEd said it had restored all major transmission lines associated with the event and was in the process of investigating the cause of the failure.