Statement From Con Edison

Last night at 9:12 p.m., an electrical fault on a section of 138,000-volt equipment in one of our Astoria substations caused a transmission disturbance and a sustained electrical arc flash, creating the blue light people witnessed. The equipment that malfunctioned is associated with voltage monitoring within the substation. There were no serious injuries, although one employee at the substation reported eye irritation associated with the arc flash.

The transmission disturbance caused lights to flicker throughout much of our service area, and several facilities, including LaGuardia Airport, Rikers Island, and some area hospitals, reported that their electrical systems switched to backup generation during the event. They were back on Con Edison power late last night. Service on the subway system’s 7 line in Queens was also impacted for about 30 minutes while track equipment was reset. Some other customer electrical equipment also shut off and had to be reset.

We apologize for the disruption to customers and will continue to investigate the root cause of the incident.