The Russian web was ablaze with bizarre theories today at an extraordinary explosion seen by thousands of commuters in St Petersburg.

It must have seemed like the end of the world was nigh when motorists driving along this busy motorway saw a huge flash light up the night sky on the horizon.

So far, conspiracy theories of martians and bomb-testing have emerged to explain the astonishing sight. However, the reality was far less exciting.

© Russia TodayThe calm before the electric storm: Unsuspecting motorists were driving along this motorway when the huge flash appeared on the horizon in front of them.

© Russia TodayLit-up: This motorist's enjoyment of John Lennon came to an abrupt end when the huge flash appeared in front of them.
© Russia TodayBright: Some of the conspiracy theories which have surfaced online in Russia claim the flash is the result of bomb-testing or martians.
The flash was the result of an explosion at an electrical power plant in St Petersburg, in what was described as a 'technical malfunction' by officials. No one was hurt in the incident.

The amazing footage was recorded by one driver listening to John Lennon as he was stuck in a traffic jam.

Footage has gone viral on YouTube and other blogs and social networking site, attracting a flurry of online theories from conspiracists.

'It's the Martians landing,' said one comment, while several others also suggested a spaceship had landed on Russia's second city and former Imperial capital.

Another commenter added: 'I know precisely what this is - tests of a neutron bomb in St Petersburg.'

'It's Vladimir Putin's new bomb - watch out,' was another version, which brought a reply: 'We didn't have such a thing under Stalin.'

One claim was that it was 'a test of after-election therapy for the people'.

© Russia TodayDifferent angle: The explosion was also captured on camera from another viewpoint - and a plume of smoke is seen rising from the power plant on the horizon.
© Russia TodayArmageddon? The shocking sight has been met with suspicion and hysteria in Russia, with footage of the explosion going viral online.
© Russia TodayExplanation? The Russian authorities said the flash was caused by 'technical malfunctioning' which led to a temporary blackout.
Russians go to the polls to choose a new President on March 4 following widespread complaints of ballot rigging by the party of favourite Putin in the December parliamentary elections.

In fact the explanation was more mundane.

The dramatic light show came from the latest explosion of an electricity substation in St Petersburg.

Officials blamed a 'technical malfunction' for the spectacular display without further explanations of what went wrong.

The breakdown of small feeder power stations is by no means unusual in the former USSR, often plunging entire districts into darkness.

But as one blogger said: 'It's great they've got John Lennon on the radio. His message will not be lost.'