One dead in MA after gas explosions ignite dozens of fires

Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Boston: A man was killed while several others were injured after a series of explosions and fires rocked around 40 homes and businesses in three towns in MA on Thursday, according to the Essex County District Attorney's office.

Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, was killed after a house explosion sent a chimney falling onto his vehicle, according to the Essex District Attorney's Office.

The blasts on Thursday killed one person and left more than a dozen injured in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence - North of Boston - and stranded more than 18,000 homes and businesses without power, according to emergency officials.

The company that provides natural gas service to the MA communities affected by a series of gas explosions and fires says it expects "an extended restoration effort".

Police urged residents in three towns north of Boston to evacuate as emergency crews tackled the fires and scrambled to turn off gas lines.

The Andover Senior Center and Andover Youth Center have been open for residents who have been displaced.

The blasts appear to be pipeline explosions, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday in a briefing.

Soon after the first fires, Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante was warning residents in the Colonial Heights neighborhood to evacuate but said traffic had become a problem.

A fire engine is seen near a building emitting smoke after explosions in Lawrence, Massachusetts, US, September 13, 2018.

Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston.

Col. Kevin Schwartz, head of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said about 8,500 Columbia Gas meters are in the shut-off zone and that residents of those homes are not being allowed to return.

"This has been an overwhelming event", Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield told reporters.

Columbia Gas also said it's working with officials to "investigate this incident in order to understand its cause". "At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time", they said, adding that all fires have been extinguished and fire crews will remain in the town throughout the evening.

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

Authorities said that an issue with gas service may have prompted several explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover late Thursday afternoon, leaving at least 10 people injured.

Nearly 18,000 customers were without power on Thursday evening because of the emergency switch-offs, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Guilfoil said six people in Andover were taken to hospitals by paramedics as a precaution because they had preexisting conditions. "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". "We will support you and your family", Rivera said at a news conference Friday, speaking in English and Spanish.

"There could still be a gas leak in your home", he said.

He said that placing a different utility company in charge will "make a big difference" in terms of getting information about the situation and acting to get people back to their homes.

- A 2011 natural gas explosion killed five people in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and that state's largest gas utility was fined by regulators who called the company's safety record "downright alarming".

Residents cover their face from the smoke while being evacuated from homes as firefighters battle a fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

"You can't even see the sky", Solomon said.

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