A transformer explosion turned the New York City skyline blue

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Con Edison initially tweeted Thursday that it was working with the New York Fire Department to "respond [to] a substation fire".

But despite the eerily glowing color, an alien invasion it was not.

The light show was vast and could be seen from as far as Manhattan, with residents across the city stopping to take pictures and video to post to social media. The MTA has power, "but there are delays on the 7 train", he tweeted.

The source of the bluish light was apparently a transformer explosion, the NYPD said.

The weird sight set off a frenzy on social media, where people reported a power failure at LaGuardia Airport.

According to the utility outage map for Con Edison, there were only 76 who were said to have lost power.

It was a scene that could have been an alternate plot line to War of the Worlds, a bright flash followed by power outages, according to one Twitter user.

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Besides lighting up the sky in shades of blue visible as far as Manhattan and New Jersey, temors shook buildings and rattled windows.

Social media lit up with videos and photos of the bright light in the night sky over New York City.

"You could see it from the precinct, and the precinct is about a half-mile away", he said.

Street in Astoria, Queens after a transformer fire at a nearby Con Ed plant.

The incident is under control and no injuries have been reported, the FDNY said.

A subsequent NYPD tweet confirmed that the "incident in #Astoria [Queens] was result of transformer explosion".

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