Beginning at around 9:00 p.m last, night neon blue bursts of light turned the New York City skyline into a pre-apocalyptic backdrop while sending ripples of speculation and awe throughout the city. Con Ed initially said a transformer explosion at the Con Ed power plant in Astoria, Queens (known as the Astoria Generating Station) was the source of the flickering lights in the night’s sky and fortunately, no fatalities resulted.
ADVISORY: The lights you have seen throughout the city appear to have been from a transformer explosion at a Con Ed facility in Queens. The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available. Follow @fdny, @NYPD114pct and @conedison. pic.twitter.com/fdzQKs1wVV
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 28, 2018
Temporary power outages occurred at Rikers Island, LaGuardia airport and on the 7 train, ABCNY reports. Con Ed’s Thursday night response placed the blame on transistor explosions that are characteristically blue with long flashes that can be seen from far distances
Looks like a transformer at the Con Ed plant blew. Fire seems to be out now. Is everyone ok? pic.twitter.com/lydIkhYMy5
— Lorraine Klimowich (@MsKlimowich) December 28, 2018
Con Ed later on Friday morning said the explosions were caused by “a sustained electrical arc flash” from the 138,000-volt equipment at the power station, NBCNY reports.
The incident at one of NY state’s largest greenhouse gas emitters brings a renewed emphasis on the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, which is being championed by incoming NY Senator Jessica Ramos, the Huffington Post reports: “The bill, first introduced in the Assembly in 2016, mandates that New York switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. For two years, the Senate’s Republican majority refused to vote on the bill even as it repeatedly passed in the Assembly, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry, declined to champion the legislation.”