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A transformer explosion lit up the night sky in New York City on Thursday, turning the skyline bright blue for a moment and frightening residents in the process.

NY mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesman Eric Phillips said there are scattered power outages in the city, including at LaGuardia Airport.

All terminals were impacted by the loss of commercial power, causing the FAA to issue a temporary ground stop.

A bright blue light lit up the NY skyline after a transformer exploded at an energy facility. "The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available".

"Something insane is happening in the sky above Manhattan right now", New York University sociologist Eric Klineberg wrote on Twitter under a video of the flashing sky.

The explosion also knocked out power out at Rikers Island, and some subway lines were disrupted including on the E, F, and R trains and the 7 line.

The New York City Fire Department also tweeted confirmation that it was investigating a transformer incident at Con Edison's Queens facility.

Transformer explosion creates electric blue skyline in NY
People immediately took to social media to post images of the sky across the city illuminated by an eerie blue-green light. Travellers at LaGuardia Airport, which is located in Queens, were treated to potential delays as well as a light show.

CBS New York reports NYPD said a transformer exploded at the utility company's facility in Astoria shortly after 9 p.m.

New Yorkers took to social media to post pictures and videos of the odd phenomenon, as wild speculation swirled as to the cause of the eerie blue sky.

La Guardia lost power as a result of the explosion and all flights were grounded.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blue light was caused by an electrical surge at the substation.

The blow-out led to about 50 power outages.

Judith Enck, the former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator for NY, told the Huffington Post that the "very old and very polluting" Astoria plant "should have been shut down quite a while ago" and replaced with clean electricity sources.

According to a report from USA broadcaster NBC, the LaGuardia airport was briefly ingulfed in a "total blackout".