Though it immediately evoked images of \u0022an alien invasion\u0022 or the eerie opening scene of a \u0022monster movie,\u0022 the explosion that briefly turned New York City\u0026#039;s skyline bright blue late Thursday night was actually something rather more conventional, but still cause for serious alarm and action: an electrical blast at one of New York\u0026#039;s dirtiest power plants.\u0022It\u0026#039;s a reminder that New York needs to accelerate efforts to phase out fossil fuels.\u0022 —Judith Enck, former New York EPA administratorWhile state authorities said they are investigating the incident and concluded that no one was injured, the transformer explosion briefly sparked panic and—according to environmentalists—offered yet another glowing reminder of the dire need to transition away from dirty energy.As the Huffington Post\u0026#039;s Alexander Kaufman noted, the Astoria Generating Station—where the Thursday night blast occurred—\u0022burns 3,039,000 gallons of number 6 fuel oil a year.\u0022 The explosion at the facility, wrote Kaufman, could help call attention to New York City\u0026#039;s \u0022dependence on antiquated oil-burning power stations.\u0022Number 6 fuel oil is \u0022considered one of the most polluting energy sources in the world,\u0022 Kaufman pointed out, and the Astoria power plant has been partly blamed for high air pollution in the surrounding area and the growing levels of asthma that have afflicted residents as a result.\u0022Last year the city council passed a bill requiring the utility operators to stop using fuel oil number 6 by 2020 and number 4 oil by 2030,\u0022 Kaufman observed. \u0022But the explosion on Thursday night could add new pressure to go further, phasing out fossil fuel use altogether and converting the stations to renewable sources.\u0022New York skyline after transformer explosion at Astoria East \u0026amp; North Queens Con Ed power plant, stay safe. pic.twitter.com/ZboREr1bJE— Mohamed Salih (@MohamedMOSalih) December 28, 2018Judith Enck, the former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator for New York, told the Huffington Post that the \u0022very old and very polluting\u0022 Astoria plant \u0022should have been shut down quite a while ago\u0022 and replaced with clean electricity sources.\u0022It\u0026#039;s a reminder that New York needs to accelerate efforts to phase out fossil fuels,\u0022 Enck said of the blast.Brooklyn-based renewable energy activist Daniela Lapidous agreed, saying it shouldn\u0026#039;t be normal \u0022to fear that the way we provide energy endangers the people we love.\u0022\u0022Fossil fuels cause so much danger from climate change and air pollution, but freak accidents like this go to show that moving our energy system to 100 percent renewables is the only way to minimize the threat,\u0022 Lapidous concluded.There was an explosion at a power plant in Queens tonight. We’re not hearing of any injuries but this is an example of our systems and structures being stretched past their capacities.We need to commit to rebuilding our infrastructure in this country. https://t.co/P2Il0C69sZ— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) December 28, 2018\u0022None of these things happen in a vacuum,\u0022 Democratic state Sen.-elect Jessica Ramos said in remarks outside the Astoria Generating Station following the transformer explosion. \u0022We need to flip everything on its head and rethink the paradigm of exactly how it is that the city of New York and the state of New York is thinking about our future consumption of energy.\u0022Images and videos of the Thursday night explosion and its aftermath quickly spread on social media, with New York residents expressing astonishment and horror at the bright blue light that illuminated the city sky for several minutes:Is this an alien invasion? pic.twitter.com/ED4G94tQYo— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) December 28, 2018The power plant by my house in Astoria exploded a little. pic.twitter.com/P26kiTjYdX— Alexander C. Kane (@alexanderckane) December 28, 2018OH MY GOD THE SKY IS BROKEN #Astoria Is this how it ends? pic.twitter.com/Xvzxep1vf8— Marie (@lalalalalemon) December 28, 2018According to New York officials, the incident—which resulted in the brief closure of the LaGuardia Airport in Queens—is under control and there are no longer signficant power outages in the surrounding area.