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Transformer explosion in New York City lights up night sky

Key Points
  • A transformer explosion at an electric power station in the New York City borough of Queens on Thursday led police officials to warn people to avoid the area, after social media users posted images of a bright light on the horizon.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration instituted a groundstop at the LaGuardia Airport.
VIDEO0:5500:55
Watch the transformer explosion that lit up New York City's night sky

A transformer explosion at an electric power station in the New York City borough of Queens on Thursday led police officials to warn people to avoid the area, after social media users posted images of a bright light on the horizon.

The Federal Aviation Administration instituted a groundstop at the LaGuardia Airport, according to NBC News. The Airport later said in a Twitter post some flights are not departing due to a power outage. It was not immediately clear if the two events were related.

"The light you have seen throughout the city appear to have been from a transformer explosion at a Con Edison facility in Queens," the New York Police Department said in an advisory on Twitter to local residents.

"The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available," it said.

The New York Police Department's 114th precinct, which patrols the area, said in a message on Twitter that people should avoid the area around the power plant.

Con Edison said in a Twitter post: "There was a brief electrical fire at our substation in Astoria which involved some electrical transformers and caused a transmission dip in the area. We're currently investigating the cause of the incident."

— CNBC contributed to this report.