Quantcast

One Dead, 25 Injured as Gas Explosions Rock Massachusetts Towns

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.

Sponsored
Manuta / Getty Images

By Kristi Pahr

This could be the delicious anti-inflammatory treat you've been looking for.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By John R. Platt

The world needs to change the way it eats, not just as individuals but as a society.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Rimma_Bondarenko / iStock / Getty Images

By Tiffany La Forge

We've all been there — feeling like there's just some pep missing in our step. Thankfully, there's a natural (and tasty!) solution in your pantry.

Read More Show Less
On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.

Read More Show Less

This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.

"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.

Read More Show Less