Gas explosions drive thousands from homes in Boston suburbs

US At least 70 fires blasts reported in three towns of Boston mass evacuations under way

Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence were rocked by gas explosions and several fires around 5 p.m., drawing emergency responders from across the region to battle the between 60 and 80 fires that broke out nearly simultaneously due to a situation involving the communities' gas lines.

Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died after a chimney toppled by an exploding house crashed into his auto, authorities said. A hospital spokesperson told CNN one person is in critical condition, and another patient is listed as serious.

Earlier on Thursday, before the fires broke out, the utility company that services the area announced it would be upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across the state.

State Police say at least 39 fires erupted Thursday afternoon in the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

More than 70 gas explosions sparked blazes across three communities as crews scrambled to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage.

"Everyone wants answers. And we deserve them", he said.

The State Fire Marshal's Office and the FBI are involved in the investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board also plans to send a team on Friday.

The flight crew alerted the Lawrence Fire Department of the gas leak, and firefighters were able to confirm the presence of the leak underground and manage it accordingly, police said.

Baker previously said authorities hadn't heard directly from Columbia Gas, but later called the company's response "adequate".

"It looked like Armageddon, it really did", Andover fire chief Michael Mansfield told reporters.

NAFTA deal must end Canada's milk protein scheme
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week said milk was the main issue standing in the way of a NAFTA deal. Mulroney said Justin Trudeau phoned him last weekend to discuss the NAFTA situation and the two spoke for an hour.

Columbia Gas is investigating, NISource spokesman Ken Stammen said on Thursday.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, described it as a "public safety event" in the early hours of Friday, but said officials were now "confident" there would be no further fires.

A map posted by Massachusetts State Police shows dozens of explosions and fires spread over the area. Ten people were being treated at Lawrence General Hospital, spokeswoman Jill McDonald Halsey said. About 18,000 customers were without power.

The cause wasn't immediately clear.

"When you return to your home, if the gas is turned off, under no circumstances should you turn it back on", Schwartz said. There were reports that the company was trying to depressurize its lines in the area. Once the regulatory agencies release their findings, "and we better understand the root cause of the incident, AGA is prepared to work with our members, state and federal pipeline safety regulators and other interested stakeholders to take additional actions to preserve the safety of the natural gas delivery system and the communities we serve".

In Lawrence, however, the entire south side of the city remained an evacuation zone as of 11 a.m. Friday.

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.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera estimated there are between 20 and 25 fires across the city, according to WCVB. Solomon, who's in Lawrence, says there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

Massachusetts State Police tweeted: "Power company will be shutting OFF power to all of #Lawrence, #NorthAndover, and #Andover to assist in the gas situation".

Related News:



Most liked

North Carolina TV station evacuates due to rising waters
More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it is not clear how many left. According to CNN, the hurricane hit the east coast of the USA with 90-mph winds and relentless rain.

Umpire Breaks His Silence Amid Serena Williams' Sexism Accusations Over Controversial Calls
She was she given three code violations by Carlos Ramos , which cost her a point penalty and then a game penalty. Ramos is a gold-badge umpire for the ITF, who have released a statement in support of him.

IPhone XR: Apple unveils iPhone XR starting at £749
As before, the dual cameras include a wide-angle and a telephoto lens, with are both equipped with optical image stabilisation. Even a new version of the Apple Watch, called Series 4, has a 30 percent larger screen , making it fit even more information.

SpaceX changes plans to send tourists around the moon
No details have been revealed about who the passenger is and why they're flying, but SpaceX said it would reveal all on Monday. SpaceX will send its first passenger around the Moon in a Big Falcon Rocket (seen in its original form).

China-Russia Week Long War Games — Growing Military Ties
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has denounced the exercises as a rehearsal for a "large-scale military conflict". Some of the first exercises will revolve around anti-aircraft technology, according to Russia's defence ministry.

Storm Helene to bring wet and windy weather to Ireland
Isaac is expected to produce up to 3 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of up to 5 inches, across southeast Puerto Rico. Given its expected slow speed once it rolls ashore, they warned the heavy rain and storm could spread across a wide area.

Answers to the 5 most asked questions about Hurricane Florence
Others turned to social media and held live prayer sessions asking God to cause Hurricane Florence to lose strength. It is moving to the northwest at 12 mph, which is 3 mph slower than what the hurricane center reported at 5 a.m.

Paul Manafort to plead guilty to two charges
Manafort is expected to appear in a USA district courtroom in Washington , D.C., later Friday morning. The former Trump aide is scheduled to appear at a hearing for the trial at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

Jeff Bezos is donating money to fix a problem his company perpetuates
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is to launch a $2bn (£1.53bn) fund to help homeless families and launch pre-schools in poor communities. The Day 1 Academies Fund will establish full-scholarship Montessori-like preschools where "the child will be the customer".

Zidane 'compiles list of transfer targets' for Manchester United job
It would be interesting to see if Pogba makes a move to Barcelona or any other club in near future. And the midfielder admits his relationship with Jose Mourinho is exclusively professional.

Hurricane Florence begins to batter USA east coast
The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas . Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.

Nintendo Switch Online launches on September 18th with 7-day free trial
Ultimate, some more info about that new Yoshi game , and if you're feeling really lucky, an Animal Crossing Switch announcement. The service will include a number of obvious features and bonuses for Nintendo online.

Pochettino: Watford defeat is a ‘wake-up call’
Despite not getting the win, Moura showed once more that his pace is going to be a trouble for defenders. If you want to win you need to show that character, you need to defend well.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos unveils $2 bn fund for homeless, others
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is to launch a $2bn (£1.53bn) fund to help homeless families and launch pre-schools in poor communities. The fund will also launch and operate a network of high-quality Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Trump Wanted Higher Taxes on the Rich
He gives one example of a National Security Council meeting that happened about a year after Trump took the White House. He added, "He and I both know this story is total BS".