'Something Insane Is Happening in the Sky Above Manhattan'

Mayor's office says it was transformer explosion, 'not aliens'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2018 4:22 AM CST
Updated Dec 28, 2018 6:33 AM CST

(Newser) – A transformer explosion at an electrical plant lit up the skies above New York City in an eerie, pulsing blue light Thursday night, causing scattered power outages, delaying flights, and sparking a social media storm of jokes about an alien invasion. The blast prompted a brief fire at a sprawling Con Edison facility in Queens—but no injuries—and a spectacular illumination of the New York skyline that generated a flurry of online commentary. The explosion impacted subway service in the area and caused a brief ground stop at LaGuardia Airport, which experienced power outages, the AP reports.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo described a "major electrical failure" at the electrical substation along the East River, near the Rikers Island prison complex and across a small bay from LaGuardia. The lights caused a stir on social media as several witnesses posted photographs and videos of a bright, blue flash that filled the night's sky. The Manhattan skyline and iconic East River bridges were suddenly silhouetted against a backdrop of pulsating light. "Something insane is happening in the sky above Manhattan right now," New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg wrote on Twitter under a video of the flashing sky. Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted that the lights were attributable to a "blown transformer." "Not aliens," Phillips tweeted.

(Read more New York City stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.