LGA flight delays: Eerie blue sky explosion causes major disruptions at LaGuardia airport

The ConEd explosion led to a power outage at the airport

Sarah Harvard
New York
Friday 28 December 2018 17:38
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LaGuardia Airport has been hit by diversions and delays to flights caused by an explosion at a Consolidated Edison electrical substation, in Astoria, Queens that illuminated the New York City skyline with a bright blue glow.

The explosion cut off power to the airport causing delays that continued into Friday morning, despite LaGuardia being able to switch to backup generators during the blackout.

As of right now, power has been restored, but not before Delta Airlines and American Airlines had to reroute several planes to nearby airports.

Some flights were also delayed for up to three hours.

The first flights that departed from LaGuardia on Friday morning operated as scheduled.

LaGuardia’s website said that travellers flying on Friday should still check with their airline carrier on the status of their flight and allow additional time when commuting to the airport.

The beaming blue glow from the explosion could be seen from Manhattan a little after 9pm on Thursday night. The explosion was caused by a “brief electrical fire” at the Consolidated Edison Inc. facility in Astoria.

“There was a brief electrical fire at our substation on 20th Avenue & 32nd Street in Astoria this evening, which caused a transmission dip,” Con Ed tweeted. “All power lines serving the area are in service and the system is stable.” The company said it’s investigating the cause of the blaze.

The explosion caused a pandemonium among New Yorkers prompting many of them to comment on the eerie sighting on social media.

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Mayor Bill DeBlasio, tweeted “It’s *Not* Aliens.”

“if I understood SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE correctly, like 12 people became Spider-Men in that ConEd explosion tonight,” one person tweeted.

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“#coned explosion in astoria, #queens tonight,” another New Yorker tweeted. “this is my roommate and I thinking we are going to die and evacuating.”

Some New York residents thought the explosion were signs of an alien invasion, while others, like Astoria's Ziad Elnokrashy, told the New York Daily News that he thought it was a "terrorist attack."

“Everything was flooded with smoke,” he said. “It looked like blue fire. It was so big it was like the whole sky turned blue… I thought it was the end of the world.”

The New York Police Department immediately quelled down those fears and confirmed it was a result of a transformer explosion in a ConEd facility in Astoria. It reported that there were "no injuries, no fire, no evidence of extraterrestrial activity."

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