Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Teen dead as gas explosions rock USA towns

Teen dead as gas explosions rock USA towns

"We are saddened to learn of the death of a young man as a result of these events", the statement read. We will support you and your family.

"The focus remains on ensuring the public safety", said Baker.

Since 2010, there have been 27 major incidents, 10 of which involved Columbia Gas - the most of any one utility company.

NiSource spokesman Ken Stammen said Columbia Gas was investigating.

Customers with Columbia Gas have been primarily affected.

Massachusetts State Police say gas lines are now being depressurized by the company.

Massachusetts State Police say officials will be shutting off power to all residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

Rep. Seth Moulton appeared frustrated Thursday night, saying parts of North Andover look "like a war zone".

An 18-year-old man died after a house exploded amid gas explosions north of Boston, sending a chimney crashing into his auto.

Officials in the three municipalities were allowing people back into certain areas, often street by street.

State Police estimated up to 38 homes were destroyed by the explosions and fires.

Crews work to knock down a fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

Neighbouring Police Chief Joseph Solomon, who came in to assist from the town of Methuen, said there were so many fires burning at one point that you couldn't see the sky.

The Andover Police Department said in a statement that 35 fires in town have been extinguished. Some of those who were forced to flee quickly as darkness fell Thursday attempted to return home Friday to grab supplies and belongings.

Nearly 40 fires and explosions erupt in Massachusetts
Dozens of explosions near Boston, multiple injuries and hundreds evacuated

No additional gas-related emergencies had been reported on Friday.

Live TV images showed firefighters battling blazes in the former mill towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, about 25 miles (40 km) north of the MA capital. And that's it. In situations like this, authorities always want to be sure they get it right, and that's admirable, but it can't be used as an excuse to say nothing at all.

Officials were shutting down power in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover because of the emergency, state police said on Thursday evening.

Columbia Gas, which has 313,000 customers across the state, says an investigation is underway as the utility works to cut gas supply.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt announced the go-team's departure during a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

Officials said that between 60 and 80 fires and a number of explosions broke out in homes and businesses in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, which are located around 30 miles (45km) north of Boston.

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".

One person, an 18-year-old from Lawrence, died and more than 20 others were injured in the blasts and blazes. "Safety is our top priority", it said.

Those who needed to pick up important items like medicine from home were being transported by Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority.

"What we know is that there have been multiple explosions, multiple fires that are happening across the city", Rivera told WBZ-TV. "It's bad for the people affected, but a pretty small impact in terms of the gas market". "This is the sort of thing a gas distribution company hopes to never have".

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

The governor said he urged Columbia Gas to develop a "comprehensive safety inspection plan".

Gov. Charlie Baker said state and local authorities were investigating but that it could take days or weeks before they turn up answers, acknowledging the "massive inconvenience" for those displaced by the explosions. He declared a state of emergency for the affected area so the state could take over recovery efforts.

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