Gas Explosions, Fires Reported In Boston Suburbs

Postado Setembro 14, 2018

Authorities named the dead teenager as Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died after a chimney toppled by an exploding house crashed into his auto.

"Numerous evacuations of neighborhoods where there are gas odors are underway", MSP tweeted.

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

Flanked by community leaders from Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Gov. Charlie Baker vowed, "we'll work with the federal government and others to investigate how this occurred and hold the appropriate parties responsible for their actions".

Local police chief says 20-25 homes on fire in community near Boston.

"We're also sending Engine 2 directly to a fire burning of Route 114 in Lawrence right now", said Goonan.

At least six people have been admitted to a hospital in Lawrence with fire-related injuries, including two in critical condition, according to reports.

During a Friday press conference at Reagan National Airport, Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that while the NTSB normally investigates incidents such as crashes, it is in charge of this situation because pipelines are a "mode of transportation" for natural gas.

"We are asking everybody with gas in their homes to leave their homes until further notice", North Andover town manager Andrew Maylor told one local television station.

Authorities were to cut power to thousands of metres, police said, and residents in all three towns with utilities service from Columbia Gas had been asked to evacuate immediately. Photos posted on social media show raging fires and thick plumes of black smoke billowing from the buildings. Off-ramps into the towns have been closed while on-ramps remain open to allow residents to get out of the affected areas.

Blasts in three towns north of Boston are thought to have been caused by the rupture of an overpressurised gas main.

A total of 8,000 homes must be inspected one at a time for problems with their natural gas systems before normal activities can resume in the homes, officials said.

It was not clear whether work was happening there at the time, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

The former head of the agency, Mr Brigham McCown, called the series of gas explosions "unprecedented, at least in recent memory".

State police now puts the tally of fires and explosions at 70, up from the 39 initially reported, with the number expected to grow.

He said: "It's definitely a scary situation at the moment".

Police Chief Joseph Solomon in nearby Methuen says there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

Fire investigators suspected "over-pressurization of a gas main" belonging to Columbia Gas of MA led to the series of explosions and fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said at a news conference. Lawrence, the largest of them, is a majority Latino city with a population of about 80,000.