Massachusetts Gas Explosions: Over 60 Homes Ablaze Near BostonTop Stories

September 14, 2018 05:38
Massachusetts Gas Explosions: Over 60 Homes Ablaze Near Boston

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Nearly 39 buildings and homes in towns outside of Boston, Massachusetts were hit in a series of suspected gas explosions, according to officials.

Local police reported dozens of "fires and explosions" in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, saying the "number will grow".

The explosions have resulted in evacuations and several serious and minor injuries, local media say.

Local gas and electric companies are cutting service to the area.

Merrimack Valley officials believe the explosions could have been set off by pressure issues with Columbia Gas lines, but have not confirmed an origin.

The lines are being depressurized by the company, but "it will take some time", state police said, advising anyone who smells gas or has Columbia Gas service to "evacuate their homes immediately".

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera has asked all south Lawrence residents - even if they do not have Columbia Gas - to evacuate their homes amidst a planned electricity shut down.

Lawrence General Hospital said four individuals had received treatment for injuries sustained in the incident, United States media report.

Police have set up evacuation centers in local schools.

State police tweeted that they have responded to 70 instances of fires, explosions or gas odors across Lawrence and Andover.

Officials in Andover, reported 18 "gas-related fires" burning at the same time at peak. Altogether, firefighters put out 35 fires in the area.

Neighboring Police Chief Joseph Solomon, who came in to assist from the town of Methuen, said there were so many fires burning that "you can't even see the sky", according to the Lowell Sun.

The Sun reports that fire officials have termed the explosions a mass casualty incident, though there were no specifics regarding injuries.

The towns are situated about 27 miles (43km) north of Boston.

The State Fire Marshal's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are involved in the investigation.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, said in a statement he is talking with local safety authorities about the incident.

By Sowmya Sangam

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