What to Know About the Suspected Gas Explosions in MA

Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

The AP additionally noted that State Police officers are now trying to secure areas where "multiple suspected gas explosions" took place. Most were still waiting, shaken and exhausted, to be allowed to return to their homes. "It's essential for the crews to get this right".

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is reportedly sending in a team to investigate.

Firefighters battle a house fire in North Andover, Mass., one of a series of fires and explosions on Thursday thought to have been triggered by a gas line that feeds several communities north of Boston.

Columbia Gas employee Brian Jones shines a flashlight so his partner, using a wrench, can shut off the gas in a home Friday in Andover.

Leonel Rondon, 18, was killed inside a auto in the town of Lawrence when a chimney fell on his vehicle from a house explosion, a spokeswoman with the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

Family members told local media that he had been in the auto with two friends, who were now in hospital.

"Our mission is to find out what happened, so that we can learn from it and keep it from happening again", he said.

A spokesman for the Andover Police Department says residents in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover whose homes are serviced by Columbia Gas were urged to evacuate on Thursday afternoon.

Baker, who is running for re-election, on Friday also suspended his campaign over the weekend to coordinate the response by state and local emergency management officials.

State law sets up a process for the chair of DPU to issue orders to any utility when authorized by the governor during a state of emergency "to assure public safety through the priority restoration of service". Columbia Gas has been upgrading its gas system across the state.

Officials in all three areas said school will be canceled on Friday.

Authorities are blaming over-pressurized gas lines and previously told all residents with Columbia Gas service in those areas to evacuate. Hours before the explosions, the company had unveiled plans to upgrade gas lines across MA, including in the areas where the blasts happened. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately return calls.

"We are not sure that's going to be anytime soon".

At least one story of heroism emerged from the ashes: that of Lawrence police officer Ivan Soto.

The newspaper reported that some neighborhoods were being evacuated.

A house is destroyed by an explosion in Lawrence, near Boston. Lawrence, the largest, is a majority Latino city with a population of about 80,000. "Make plans for at least between now and this time tomorrow", Rivera said early on Friday.

Multiple fire trucks from surrounding communities arrive in Lawrence, Massachusetts. "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. But Rivera criticized the gas utility for poor communications and accused the company of "hiding from the problem".

Hours earlier, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield described a starkly different situation.

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

In neighbouring North Andover, town Selectman Phil Decologero said that his entire neighbourhood had gathered in the street, afraid to enter homes.

Aerial footage showed houses in smoldering ruins.

One of her family members was displaced, she said, but her home was not damaged.

"When you return to your home, if the gas is turned off, under no circumstances should you turn it back on", Schwartz said.

Even if she could go home Friday, she said she wanted to stay on and volunteer.

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