NYC Blue

Transformer explosion in Queens turns the sky neon-blue

A transformer explosion at a major utility in New York City made national headlines December 27, when the electrical surge at a Con Edison substation in the borough of Queens caused an electrical fire that turned the NYC night sky a vibrant, eerie shade of blue.

Via a statement on Twitter, Con Edison officials labeled the source “a brief electrical fire” at one of its substations in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria, “which involved some electrical transformers and caused a transmission dip in the area.” Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blue light was caused by an electrical surge at the substation.

(Editor’s Note: Con Edison stands for Consolidated Edison, not to be confused with the major Midwest utility ComEd, or Commonwealth Edison.)


Some Queens residents, as well as onlookers at the nearby La Guardia Airport, weren’t fully convinced they weren’t witnessing an unidentified flying object. Although this theory was squashed within minutes that Thursday night, the electric blue color sparked some intriguing fanfare around the event, and speculations of alien invasions turned into humor, even at the New York Times.

The mishap caused short power outages at La Guardia, Riker’s Island Prison, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority system. The No. 7 train was delayed, and some flights were delayed and/or cancelled. However, by Friday morning, full power had been restored and electricity flowed as if nothing had happened.

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