What to Know About the Suspected Gas Explosions in MA

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"We are focussed on providing as much support as possible to our customers, residents and communities", the utility said in a statement.

Gas utilities have come under heightened scrutiny in recent years for an aging network of pipelines that critics say are not being properly inspected and maintained, posing a growing risk to public safety.

Warren said she was disappointed not to receive a call back when she reached out to the company.

Officials have yet to identify what caused the explosions but said that pressure on natural gas lines...

Residents in the aforementioned towns that are serviced by Columbia Gas of MA "should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so", police advised.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon died when his auto was crushed by a falling chimney, a spokesperson for the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

At least four people are being treated for injuries after a series of fires north of Boston that authorities blame on a natural gas issue.

In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume the roof of a home in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

"This has been an overwhelming event", Mansfield told reporters, saying that fire companies responding to blazes were putting one house fire out only to discover another house on fire as they finished their work.

Hundreds of natural gas technicians were to descend on Lawrence, Andover and North Andover in the coming days to restore gas service safely before electricity could be turned on, state officials said earlier Friday.

Officials in Andover previously said at least three people, including a firefighter, had been injured in the town.

Joseph Solomon, the police chief in nearby Methuen, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky". One of those patients, who was in critical condition, was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Soon after 7 p.m., officials in Andover said all fires in the town had been extinguished.

The danger, at this point, is mainly from any pent-up gas that leaked and remains in homes.

According to the State Police, the incidents initially were being blamed on over-pressurized gaslines.

Massachusetts State Police say officers were sent to Lawrence, Andover and North Andover shortly after reports of the first blast at around 5pm (10pm BST).

MSP said it was too early to know the cause of the explosions and fires.

"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.

"Certainly things we will be looking at will be the design of the pipeline system, any maintenance or upgrades that may have been done or in the process of being done on the pipeline, the integrity management system of the pipeline operator", he said.

"Residents in the affected towns of Lawrence/North Andover/Andover who have gas service from Columbia Gas should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so", state police tweeted.

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".

Andover responded and put out 35 total fires in Andover.

"Through their attention to detail, the crew of MSP Air 5 likely prevented another catastrophic event", it wrote.

Gas service was interrupted for 250 customers in Lawrence last month because of a line hit by a third party, according to the company.

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