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The night sky over New York City turned bright blue Thursday night, the result of a sustained electrical arc flash at an Astoria, Queens, power plant, according to Con Edison.

"There are no injuries reported", the NY fire department said, noting that the situation is under control.

It turns out, aliens weren't descending in Queens - a transformer had blown at a power station.

The blue light prompted a wave of commentary on social media, with New Yorkers joking about its origins.

The fire was put out quickly and according to authorities there are no reported injuries.

LaGuardia Airport had to run on backup generators, causing a ground stop and delaying flights from taking off for at least an hour, but was running again around 11 p.m.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said full power has been restored to the airport, and that there are no significant outages to report. The cause of the incident was being investigated, it said.

Con Edison also confirmed that a fire had broken out at their facility. "The fire is under control".

There was a boom, then a hum.

Social media lit up on Thursday night, just like the sky over New York City.

Flights at La Guardia airport were grounded, traffic around the city was affected, and there were neighbourhoods without any power.

Residents reported temporary power outages.

"You could hear the roar and see the super white, bright light", Tebbett said. Nunez said the bright lights and loud bangs caused a surge of 911 calls, with residents reporting explosions and one person calling in a plane crash.

He said that travelers could expect delays through early Friday.