There was a blast; at that point a murmur. The lights glimmered. A mammoth tuft of smoke filled the New York City sky, and turned it blue.
“A kind of unnatural, fluorescent shade of blue,” said Bill San Antonio, 28, who was watching Thursday night from inside a terminal at La Guardia Airport.
“We thought it was a U.F.O.,” said Yiota Androtsakis, a long-term Astoria inhabitant.
Ms. Androtsakis was not alone. In the most punctual minutes, several Twitter clients from over the city posted recordings of the spooky lights, making numerous via web-based networking media fear an outsider intrusion.
By late Thursday night authorities said the occasion was caused by just a transformer blast.
“No wounds, no fire, no proof of extraterrestrial movement,” the New York Police Department tweeted, including later that the blast was not suspicious. There was one Con Edison worker adjacent when the terminate began, and the specialists said he was safe.
In any case, Deputy Inspector Osvaldo Nuñez, the leader of the 114th Precinct, surrendered that the scene “was stupendous.”
“You could see it from the area, and the region is about a half-mile away,” he said. “You felt it in your chest, the blasts, and the night sky turned an electric blue.”
All the energy caused a lot of issues. Monitor Nuñez said the brilliant lights and noisy blasts caused a flood of 911 calls, with occupants announcing blasts and one individual bringing in a plane accident.
The power went down quickly at La Guardia Airport, driving a ground stop and causing delays. What’s more, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a tweet that No. 7 train benefit had been upset by the power disappointments.
Indeed, even the Rikers Island jail complex, which houses around 10,000 detainees, lost power for around 25 minutes, as indicated by a lady who picked up the telephone at the North Infirmary Command.
“There’s been perplexity practically from the begin,” said Mr. San Antonio, who was hanging tight to get onto a trip to Dallas when the power went out at La Guardia. After the power returned on, he got an instant message. His flight had been dropped.
In an announcement on Twitter, Con Edison said there had been “a concise electrical fire” at one of its substations in Astoria, “which included some electrical transformers and caused a transmission plunge in the zone.” Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blue light was caused by an electrical flood at the substation.
On Twitter, utility authorities apologized to many frightened clients, saying they were “mindful of this circumstance.” Although control disappointments were accounted for in parts of Jackson Heights, the utility said late Thursday that “all electrical cables serving the territory are in administration and the framework is steady.”
In any case, occupants on Thursday night were shaken. Ms. Androtsakis said she heard the “abnormal commotion” even through shut windows; after it stopped, she stated, she could in any case hear it in her ears.
The lights were so splendid, she included, that in a few places a generally dim night was as brilliant as day.
“It was terrifying,” said Ms. Androtsakis’ neighbor, Mickey, who declined to give his last name. “It resembled something from space like we were attacked.”
Closer to the power plant, Peter Dipietrantonio said he and his sweetheart heard a blast and after that saw a “green emanation” fill his window. Minutes after the fact, he stated, he saw individuals hurrying without end in the city.
“When we saw individuals running, we chose to get out,” he said. His better half, Dana Jefferson, remained in the city, conveying the duffel sack she had immediately stuffed. “She was prepared to go,” he said.