Quantcast

One Dead, 25 Injured as Gas Explosions Rock Massachusetts Towns

Energy
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire caused by over pressurized gas lines on Sept. 13 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen / Getty Images News / Getty Images

A series of gas explosions Thursday in three towns north of Boston killed one and injured 25, CNN reported Friday.


More than 60 suspected gas fires ignited in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover Thursday evening, causing multiple houses to explode.

"This has been an overwhelming event," Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield told reporters, according to CNN. "I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career. ... It looked like Armageddon, it really did."

Emergency officials suspected over-pressurized natural gas lines caused the explosions, but no official cause has been stated, CBS reported Friday.

Fires broke out in at least 39 homes.

There was heavy traffic as Massachusetts State Police urged all Columbia Gas customers in the three towns to evacuate.

In total, 8,000 people were unable to return home Thursday night, CNN reported. A middle school in North Andover and a senior center in Andover were set up as temporary shelters.

Columbia Gas estimated that 8,600 meters were impacted and said they would send out technicians to shut off each meter and conduct a safety inspection.

"We expect this will be an extended restoration effort, and we will work tirelessly to restore service to the affected customers," Columbia Gas said in a statement reported by CBS.

The process could take several days or longer, CBS Boston reported.

"Utility technicians must do their jobs in order to make sure everyone has a safe place to return to," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters Friday, according to CNN. "This will not be an easy process and we ask for continued patience."

Baker said that a thorough investigation would take place once the area was secure.

"Once the utilities secure the affected areas we'll work with the federal government to investigate how this occurred and who should be held accountable for the results and actions," Baker said, as CNN reported.

The Department of Pipeline Safety and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be involved with the federal investigation, CBS Boston reported. NTSB will be involved because pipelines are considered a mode of transportation.

Leonel Rondon, age 18, was killed when a house in Lawrence exploded and its chimney collided with the car he and two friends were sitting in, CNN reported.

He had just gotten his driver's license earlier that day, MassLive reported.

"You didn't deserve this. You are in a better place now. Rest in Peace my Love. You will always be on our hearts," his girlfriend Luisanna Rooselee wrote on Facebook, according to MassLive.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pixabay

By Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD

Pears are sweet, bell-shaped fruits that have been enjoyed since ancient times. They can be eaten crisp or soft.

Read More Show Less
Photon-Photos / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The desert of Australia's Northern Territory has the iconic Ayers Rock, but not much else. Soon, it may be known as home to the world's largest solar farm, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
A Boeing 737-800 BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) is marked "Prime Air" as part of Amazon Prime's freight aircraft during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France on June 22. Mustafa Yalcin / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

It's Prime Day! The day when thousands of increasingly absurd items are discounted so deeply that you suddenly need items you never knew existed. Yes, I do need a hotdog shaped toaster next to me while I watch this Fast & Furious seven movie box set! And I need it in my house today!

Read More Show Less

By Peter Sinclair

The weather in many areas across the U.S. has been – and certainly throughout America's heartland was for much of the past winter and spring – frightful.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
There's a short window between when a tick bites and when it passes on bacteria or virus. MSU Ag Communications, Courtesy Dr. Tina Nations, CC BY-ND

By Jerome Goddard

When it comes to problems caused by ticks, Lyme disease hogs a lot of the limelight. But various tick species carry and transmit a collection of other pathogens, some of which cause serious, even fatal, conditions.

Read More Show Less
tomosang / Moment / Getty Images

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Say goodbye to one of the dreamiest things about childhood. In the Midwest, fireflies are dying off.

Read More Show Less
A new Climate Emergency Fund contains more than $625,000 which will go to grassroots climate action groups like Extinction Rebellion and students who have organized weekly climate strikes all over the world. @ExtinctionR / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Heeding the call of grassroots campaigners, several wealthy philanthropists announced Friday a new fund that will raise money for climate action groups around the world.

Read More Show Less