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The Latest: Alien mask in tow, Cuomo calls flash ‘dramatic’

In this image taken from video, the night sky is illuminated in a bright, blue color after an explosion in the Queens borough of New York, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. New York police say a transformer exploded at a Con Edison facility in Queens. The explosion caused a bright, blue light that illuminated the New York skyline and caused a stir on social media. (AP Photo/Sophie Rosenbaum)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the electrical flash that caused a flash of blue light in the sky over New York (all times local):

5 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought a space-alien mask to a news conference about a utility equipment failure that caused a flash of blue light in the sky over New York City.

The governor said Friday the incident that caused power outages and grounded some flights at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night was an electrical malfunction.

New Yorkers posted eerie photos of the otherworldly flash of light on social media and joked about an alien invasion. Even the New York Police Department tweeted there was “no evidence of extraterrestrial activity.”

Cuomo said Friday that the electrical failure in Queens “was more dramatic than destructive.” But he said he would ask the state Public Service Commission to work together with the utility Con Edison to identify the cause and help ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

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9 a.m.

Electric utility Con Edison is working to figure out what caused a high-voltage equipment failure that unleashed an otherworldly flash of bright blue light in the night sky over New York City.

The event Thursday night filled social media feeds with eerie photos, questions and jokes, to the point that even the New York Police Department tweeted there was “no evidence of extraterrestrial activity.”

Although Con Ed initially described a “brief electrical fire” at a power substation in Queens, spokesman Bob McGee says Friday that what happened was what’s called an “arc flash” — somewhat like a bolt of lightning — after a malfunction in equipment that carries 138,000 volts of electricity 20 feet (6 meters) up in the air.

He says the flash subsided on its own.

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