Black Smoke Wafts Over East River

Neighbors on both sides of the East River reported seeing the heavy black smoke

Firefighters are looking into what caused heavy black smoke to billow from a smokestack at a power plant near the East River in Queens Monday. 

Firefighters were called to TransCanada's Ravenswood power plant at Vernon Boulevard and 37th Avenue in Long Island City about 4:30 p.m. Neighbors from both the west side of Queens and the east side of Manhattan reported seeing thick smoke coming from one of the four red and white smokestacks. 

According to the energy company, a boiler combustion fan lost power, causing the inside of the smoke stack to overheat and produce black smoke.

"There was no fire in the power plant, and there is no risk to human health," TransCanada spokesman Grady Semmens said.

Investigators from both TransCanada and the Department of Environmental Protection are looking into the source of the smoke, which had largely dissipated by 5 p.m.

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