Deadly Gas Explosions in Massachusetts Put Focus on Pipe Safety

15 September, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Baker later clarified that he thought the company's response was "adequate".

Soon after the first fires, Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante was warning residents in the Colonial Heights neighbourhood to evacuate but said traffic had become a problem.

At least 39 homes were damaged, including one that was razed.

Dozens of homes were set alight by suspected gas explosions in MA last night, killing an 18-year-old man. Lawrence General Hospital said it had treated 13 people for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to blast trauma.

At least three people, including one firefighter, were hurt in Andover, the town said in a statement. It was not immediately clear if any of those were from Andover.

Streets were plunged into darkness as electricity lines were disabled to prevent further damage.

At least one person has been killed and many others injured after a series of reported gas explosions rocked towns north of Boston in MA.

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Andover officials say in a statement that all 35 fires in the town have been extinguished. At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time.

A man whose neighborhood was among dozens that erupted in fire says he ran into his basement to find that the room was glowing.

National Grid Plc, which operates the electric utility in the area, was asked to shut power to all of Lawrence and North Andover and pockets of Andover, spokeswoman Christine Milligan said.

He ran downstairs and discovered his boiler on fire - and minutes later, he heard a loud boom from his neighbour's house, causing the ground to shake.

Emergency response workers from surrounding communities worked through the night to help extinguish fires and care for the injured.

Many streets in the affected areas of Andover, North Andover, and South Lawrence remain closed, so commuting could be challenging, though highways in the area are reportedly running smoothly. He said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

Massachusetts State Police say officials will be shutting off power to all residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. At least 25 other people reportedly were injured.

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Columbia Gas posted an online note shortly after the first explosions that read: "Crews are now responding to reports of multiple fires in Lawrence, MA". The three communities, near the New Hampshire border, together have more than 146,000 residents.

Local police reported "fires and explosions" at dozens of homes and other properties on Thursday evening.

State police urged residents served by Columbia Gas to evacuate their homes, saying the utility was cutting pressure to its lines and that it would take "some time" to shut off all service.

The Columbia Gas company announced earlier on Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened.

The residents of the three communities north of Boston, serviced by Columbia Gas, have been ordered to evacuate after a reported gas line rupture triggered a series of violent explosions. Solomon told reporters there were so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

Residents in North Andover who were evacuated were told to "expect that the restoration process will take several days - or longer", by the town manager, Andrew Maylor.

Management for the American Gas Association (AGA), which represents more than 200 companies that deliver gas throughout the United States, said, "Our hearts go out to those who are suffering and have lost loved ones and homes as a result of the tragic incidents in MA".

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