Dozens Of Fires, Explosions Break Out In Massachusetts Towns

Dozens Of Fires, Explosions Break Out In Massachusetts Towns

"Incidents are across a wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover", state police said via Twitter.

The three communities house more than 146,000 residents and are located about 42 kilometres north of Boston.

"Numerous evacuations of neighborhoods where there are gas odors are underway", police said. "We are saddened to learn of the death of a young man as a result of these events", the statement read. Our thoughts and continued support are with those who have been injured and affected. We will support you and your family. "We grieve for the loss. and continue to support first responders". "More than 500 resources from several affiliated Columbia Gas companies and other utilities are now mobilizing to provide assistance".

He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he later died.

Gas service was interrupted for 250 customers in Lawrence last month "due to hit line by a third party", according to Columbia Gas. In North Andover, town selectman Phil Decologero said his entire neighborhood had gathered in the street, afraid to enter their homes.

Authorities said Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died after a chimney toppled by an exploding house crashed into his vehicle. "Multiple people", a man said. State police are reporing 70 fires and gas explosions were reported today.

NiSource is the parent company of Columbia Gas of MA, which services three communities where a series of fires and explosions killed a teenager and injured more than two dozen others on Thursday.

"I have been in the fire service for nearly 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career", Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mansfield said. "There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me".

Tran said when he opened his door to see what had happened, all he could see was smoke. ALL FIRES HAVE BEEN EXTINGUISHED, however fire crews will remain in Andover throughout the evening.

At the peak of the chaos, 18 fires were burning at the same time in Andover.

"If you smell gas, you gotta get out of your home", Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera told reporters.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency for the area while expressing frustration with the utility company whose gas pipeline exploded.

Clearly, whatever went wrong here involved Columbia Gas. A middle school in North Andover and a senior center in Andover were set up for evacuees, according to the state police.

One resident described the scenes in Massachusetts as 'total destruction'
Image The fires sparked panic with some wondering whether their homes would be next

Information about the full extent of the damage was not immediately available Thursday evening, and authorities cautioned that it was "far too early to speculate" on the cause of the explosions. A joint investigation "will be conducted when situation is stabilized".

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 on Thursday.

The NTSB sent a team Friday to investigate what "appears to be multiple explosions involving (a) natural gas pipeline in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

One incident may have been prevented by a State Police helicopter crew.

Tactical flight officer and Trooper Eric Fairchild was monitoring the aircraft's forward looking infrared camera "when he observed an anomaly under the pavement at the intersection of Broadway and Andover St".

Chief Michael Mansfield requested through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, two additional fire task forces to respond to Andover. "Safety is our top priority", it said. It wasn't until about five hours later that Columbia released a statement on the situation. Fred Thys of member station WBUR reports that residents may not be able to return home until Saturday. "It's terrible for the people affected, but a pretty small impact in terms of the gas market".

Flames rise from a house in Lawrence, Mass., Sept. 13, 2018. Recent deliveries to the local distribution company from Tennessee Gas Pipeline "have been around 10,000 MMBtu, or 0.01 Bcf/d".

"Whatever the demand is tonight, the communities will meet those needs", he said.

The passports, "that's the most important thing", he said.

Firefighters are at the scene extinguishing a gas explosion in the US.

Addressing the media for the first time Friday afternoon, Columbia Gas President Steve Bryant apologized to his company's customers and said gas still needs to be turned back on for 5,000 homes. Safety is at the very core of the work we do as an industry and natural gas utilities work tirelessly to help ensure the safety of their customers, communities and employees. "Once utilities secure the affected areas, we will work with the federal government to investigate how this occurred and hold people accountable for their actions".

What happened in the Merrimack Valley yesterday was a tragic incident. Andover, North Andover and Lawrence projects were included. The Salvation Army and other local agencies also were helping with services.

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