Electric transformer explodes in Queens

Too early to know if this might be a terrorist act, but CNN reports the explosion has caused multiple fires. Police are investigating.

The explosions lit up the sky in shades of blue visible as far as Manhattan and New Jersey. The tremors shook buildings and rattled windows, sending people running into the streets.

Hope anyone here in the area is safe.

I mean…is it reasonable it just blew up on own? I dont know ■■■■ about power systems

outside of a power surge it shouldn’t.

Transformer explosions are not an uncommon occurrence. Usually they are in more isolated areas and don’t attract much attention, but in NYC obviously it will be noticed.

I have had small step down transformers on my own property violently explode on two occasions.


I am not sure of the year, but a recent year long study found about 730 transformer explosions in the United States alone.

And those are probably MAJOR facilities only. That probably does NOT count the small step down transformers on our properties.

Which is still a quiet low number if you think about how many transformers there are in the U.S

But the likelyhood of this being a terrorist attack is less then 1% security at power plant is insane, its pretty much like trying to get into fort knox.

There are probably on the order of 250 million small step down transformers across the country.

As for major transformers, I don’t know, but it would have to be a number in the millions.

I had a engineer friend who did the math about this once years ago the number was insane (we both work at a power plant.

A terrorist likely would not waste time on a transformer. There are better targets if you want to cause disruption on a large scale.

NY should think about the positive they can finally see the stars.

For the benefit of everybody, this is what I am referring to by small step down transformer.

The canister near your house that steps 7,200 volts to 120 volts.

Knowing the kind of people who work at power plant I’m surprised this doesn’t happen everyday some shift manager is going to demoted for sure.

Looks surreal.


There was an explosion at a power plant in Northern California years ago that was under mysterious circumstances. That’s what prompted me to mention that. You know that NYC is very cautious about anything like this. That said, if there’s no chance it’s anything more than a simple event, I’m glad.

Yeah, I’ve seen those blow up during storms.

240 volts single phase.

3 wire split voltage 240/120.

I used 120 as that is commonly what people use, except for large appliances.

Correct. The transformer on the pole steps it down from 7200 v to 240 v which is delivered to your house via two line wires of 120 each and a ground. You get the 120 v by only connecting across one line wire and the ground. But if you have an electric dryer or electric range, you would connect that circuit across both line wires to get 240 volts … +/- 5%.

I saw that last night all the way to Brooklyn.

It seriously looked like the beginning of a movie.

It was wierd.