Last night in Astoria, Queens, a transformer at a ConEdison facility (the energy company that largely serves the New York metropolitan area) exploded at around 9:20 PM, causing the night sky to be illuminated by bright blue lights, and also causing several power outages in nearby neighborhoods. From the New York Daily News:
An FDNY spokesman said firefighters responded to the blast on 20th Ave. in Steinway at about 9:20 p.m. The transformer exploded on a site Con Ed shares with power generating companies and other industrial facilities.
…Con Edison reported power outages in several Queens neighborhoods, including Astoria, Jackson Heights and Whitestone.
“The transformer explosion at a #ConEd plant in #Queens is under control and there are no injuries at this time,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan tweeted at 10:13 p.m.
The blast halted some departures at LaGuardia Airport, which according to Con Ed switched to backup generators. It also stopped some No. 7 train service.
Around 10:30 p.m., Con Ed drove the burned-out transformer out of the site. It was about 10 feet tall and two feet wide.
Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities resulting from the transformer explosion, but there were many people on Twitter, both in and out of the New York City area, who had much to say about this terrifying event:
my dad lives in Astoria where the transformer blew and I have never been more terrified pic.twitter.com/X1vWFfcIlB— Kenz (@kzfin) December 28, 2018
Did something just happen at Con Edison? All the lights went out and then came back and there is a blue light and smoke where the grid is in Astoria. pic.twitter.com/jOKH2d3AzJ— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) December 28, 2018
Everyone is making jokes but all of us in Astoria and Queens were outside thinking we were all getting bombed. 😕 #Queens— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) December 28, 2018
If you live in NYC, especially #Queens try to get in touch with your elderly or offline relatives. They may not be online and thus may have little context for what is taking place.— Blair Imani (@BlairImani) December 28, 2018
I also would like to know what is happening. pic.twitter.com/Hx9OOUoP6P— John Mulaney (@mulaney) December 28, 2018
People describe hearing a boom, feeling a vibration and seeing the sky turn green. Again —we are told it was a transformer explosion at a @ConEdison building in Astoria, Queens. I’m heading in that direction with my @CBSNewYork crew. Will update here. pic.twitter.com/gdGCjVWVfS— Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) December 28, 2018
Did you take this video? If so, can we have permission to use on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Nation and all Fox News Edge affiliates across all platforms until further notice with courtesy to you? Do we also need anyone else's permission?— FNC Assignment Desk (@foxnewsdesk) December 28, 2018
Yes I took it, Fuck NO you can’t use it you traitor propaganda state TV swine.— jUSTIN bOLOGNINO (@jbolognino) December 28, 2018
The entire LaGuardia airport has lost power. This is gonna be an interesting night.— Brontosaurus (@bron629) December 28, 2018
We're hearing explosion at the power plant. We were originally told that the construction crews had messed something up— Brontosaurus (@bron629) December 28, 2018
Port authority PD just told everyone in my terminal to find a hotel room. No flights are going out tonight.— Brontosaurus (@bron629) December 28, 2018
Aaaaaand my flight is cancelled. The TSA in terminal C is not reopening and the stairwell is blocked by armed guards. When we left terminal D that TSA hadn't reopened yet either. We are in a hotel room for the night.— Brontosaurus (@bron629) December 28, 2018
The bronx got northern lights i don’t gotta goto iceland anymore— Meg (@wheredatwifi) December 28, 2018
This spectacular undulating turquoise sky over NYC tonight, resulting from a Con Ed transformer explosion, has now been perfectly dubbed THE ASTORIA BOREALIS by @benpassikoff. No injuries reported, delays at LAG, some brief power outages, no Zuuls pic.twitter.com/yLv82oGQTg— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) December 28, 2018
If anyone’s private helicopter flights to Queens were affected by tonight’s Astoria Borealis, please DM us. https://t.co/TBRfOWKact— PrimedOut NYC (@PrimedOutNYC) December 28, 2018
Please let this be an alien invasion and please let the aliens take me.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 28, 2018
NYC right now pic.twitter.com/1MKwVYqsvI— Pixelbuster (@Nitomatta) December 28, 2018
I’m in Brooklyn trying to figure out all the combinations of mutant powers from pigeons that some lucky ass people in Queens just got hit with. https://t.co/L6yArOtNOe— eatwords drinkstars (@akamami) December 28, 2018
Twitter right now: pic.twitter.com/UqpZGIEddp— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) December 28, 2018
congrats to astoria on electing a new pope— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) December 28, 2018
Are we sure this whole blue lights in NYC isn’t J.J. Abrams’ way of promoting the next Cloverfield movie? pic.twitter.com/fpCLXOKd0V— Walt (@UberKryptonian) December 28, 2018
1) I hope that no one was hurt or killed as a result of this explosion.— hellresidentNY (@hellresidentNY) December 28, 2018
2) I REALLY hope that no one was hurt or killed as a result of this explosion.
3) For a moment, I thought that Barry Allen was fucking around with the timeline again. https://t.co/EXi4fOwDqe
Movie theater update:— Rebecca Seidel 🌉 (@BeccaHope24) December 28, 2018
I was watching Into the Spider-Verse. The power blew out during a scene in Queens.
I checked my phone to discover that we were literally in the movie. pic.twitter.com/6WfhbLDTEZ
So New York is the Spider-Verse now, yes?— Jennifer de Guzman in a Coma (@Jennifer_deG) December 28, 2018
twitter is cool cause if it had been an alien that landed in astoria someone would have posted it and said "twitter do ur thing" and we woulda found that alien's mom, dad, all his nudes he ever sent, his social media profiles, and his boss's wife cell number in like 4 minutes.— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) December 28, 2018
*thinking of a good blue lights joke, then pausing to google “new york explosion casualties?” before posting it*— baffling Jeopardy question (@pixelatedboat) December 28, 2018
“It was a transformer explosion.” pic.twitter.com/SWmozzgT8e— Jesse McLaren (@McJesse) December 28, 2018
And sometime later that evening, Con Edison tweeted a response/explanation for the explosion at their facility:
There was a brief electrical fire at our substation on 20th Avenue & 32nd Street in Astoria this evening, which caused a transmission dip in the area. All power lines serving the area are in service and the system is stable. Photo: Michael Friedl, New York Times pic.twitter.com/vq2Ao46rhk— Con Edison (@ConEdison) December 28, 2018
Which didn’t really do much to calm or impress most people, considering that their brief electrical fire looked like when The Hatch exploded and turned the sky purple in the Season 2 finale of Lost.
A "brief electrical fire" is when I forget and put tin foil in the microwave. You know people saw this, right? https://t.co/Y9q7WoZ0BW— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) December 28, 2018
"Situation normal! We're all fine here… how are you?" https://t.co/gvn1m4QEmJ— Bitter Script Reader (@BittrScrptReadr) December 28, 2018
Further information about this explosion is still being investigated and uncovered as the evening continues, but for now, there appears to be no evidence of foul play, and no evidence of the explosion being caused by any ConEdison employees failing to enter a sequence of numbers into their system every 108 minutes.
Folks on twitter reacting without surprise to the prospect of an alien invasion in NYC is peak 2018.— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) December 28, 2018
And considering how the year 2018 has felt less like a year and more like a decade in which the Hellmouth opened up and spit out every possible demonic entity it ever contained to unleash upon this country and make us all wonder when this nightmare will finally end, I see no lies whatsoever in that tweet.
Header Image Source: Twitter