Blue light on the New York City sky on Thursday night

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“It was a weird shade of blue , a sort of unnatural, fluorescent shade of blue,” a resident said. “We thought it was a U.F.O.,” said another. A loud, continuous hum was produced. The authorities determined an electrical transformer was to blame. People reported power failures at La Guardia Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said a ground stop was ordered there around 9:30 p.m. because of the power failure but was lifted after about 45 minutes.

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Rikers Island prison complex, which houses about 10,000 inmates, lost power for about 25 minutes. There were no injuries as a result of the explosion. The New York Fire Department said there was “no fire.” Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blue light was caused by an electrical surge. On Twitter, officials apologized to dozens of alarmed customers saying they “are aware of this situation.” Outside the power plant, the police had cordoned off a few blocks as helicopters hovered above. The explosion was determined to be a non-suspicious equipment malfunction,” according to a tweet from the NYPD 114th Precinct.

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