NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the Tri-State area’s three major airports was forced to temporarily shut down late Thursday as an electric emergency at a Con Edison substation in Queens lit the night sky across much of New York City ablaze and spawned a flurry of social media reaction.
The NYPD says a transformer exploded at the utility company’s facility in Astoria shortly after 9 p.m.
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“It was an explosion like fire, like a ball of fire,” one woman told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “One boom, and then boom boom boom boom boom!”
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted that LaGuardia Airport was “temporarily closed due to a power outage resulting from the Con Edison explosion.” Mayor Bill de Blasio spokesman Eric Philips added that “scattered” power outages were reported elsewhere.
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“I was on my phone and then the WiFi goes out and then the entire building goes black and everyone’s crowding around a window and I see this white-blue big ball of light and all of it goes dark,” one woman said.
The airport switched to a backup generator and was fully functional by 11 p.m. with residual delays. Travelers were urged to check with their carriers for the most updated information on flight status.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was largely unaffected, but there were extensive delays along the 7 line.
People immediately took to social media to post images of the sky across the city illuminated by an eerie blue-green light.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan reported there were no injuries as a result of the substation explosion, which remains under investigation by officials from Con Ed.
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