New York’s skies were illuminated by flashes of brilliant blue light on Thursday. The phenomenon has been traced back to energy company Con Edison, in Astoria, Queens, according to a report from CNN.
The incident caused transportation delays, power outages and transmission dips in the area, CNN reported. LaGuardia Airport in Queens was temporarily closed between 9:22 and 10:23 p.m., according to CNN.
The blue flashes of light were visible from Manhattan all the way to New Jersey, according to CNN. The incident led to widespread confusion and panic among residents, some of whom reported hearing loud bangs.
Con Edison spokesperson Bob McGee told CNN that the “arc flash” was caused by a fault in the company’s electrical equipment. He later said that there had been no fire or explosion, according to CNN.
McGee also told CNN that that the arc struck the ground, causing the loud noises which were reported.
Con Edison said that their crews responded to the incident along with the New York Fire Department, according to CNN. By the time firefighters arrived to the scene, the flashes were over, McGee said in the CNN report.
New York Police said late Thursday night in a Tweet that the incident had been caused by a transformer explosion. “No injuries, no fire, no evidence of extraterrestrial activity,” the tweet said.
Con Edison confirmed that all major transmission lines had been restored on Friday morning, according to CNN.