What was first thought to be a possible alien invasion turned out to be an electrical fire that lit up the New York City Skyline with an eerie blue glow.
Many witnesses were greatly intrigued by the strange light illuminating the New York sky at around 9 p.m on Thursday. They took footages of the explosion at the Astoria Generating Station and posted the videos on their Twitter accounts.
Not An Alien Invasion
It wasn't an alien invasion, however. The authorities confirmed late Thursday night that a transformer of one of the state's dirtiest plants merely exploded. There was nothing more to it as some people might have implied in their tweets.
"No injuries, no fire, no evidence of extraterrestrial activity," the New York Police Department announced on social media.
The explosion, the New York Times reported, consequently triggered a surge of 911 calls, with varied reports from callers of the incident. The La Guardia Airport also experienced a short power failure that caused flight delays and other inconvenience. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also tweeted that the brief power outage interrupted the No. 7 train service.
A Pressing Problem
This event, according to a HuffPost report, highlighted a pressing problem: the city's dependence on aging oil-burning power stations that burn number 6 fuel oil, an energy source that tremendously causes air pollution.
Astoria and Long Island City have higher levels of air pollution compared to other cities based on the findings by the New York City Department of Health. Officials have also pointed a finger at these old power plants for the rising cases of asthma in the area. To alleviate the alarming health issue, a bill was passed by the city council in 2017, barring the use number 6 fuel oil by 2020 and number 4 oil by 2030.
"This is a very old and very polluting power plant that should have been shut down quite a while ago," warns Judith Enck, the former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator for New York. "It's a reminder that New York needs to accelerate efforts to phase out fossil fuels."
The transformer explosion that occurred on Thursday night could fast-track the move to end the use of fossil fuels and promote renewable energy sources.