'It Looked Like Armageddon:' Gas Explosions Destroy Homes

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 14, 2018

Firefighters battle a house fire in North Andover, Massachusetts, on Thursday as one of multiple emergency crews responding to a series of gas explosions and fires triggered by a problem with a gas line that feeds homes in several communities north of Boston.

The man killed in Lawrence, named as Leonel Robson, died in hospital after a chimney fell on his vehicle, the authorities said. The state police said some neighborhoods were evacuated because of gas odors.

The residents of the three communities north of Boston, serviced by Columbia Gas, have been ordered to evacuate after a reported gas line rupture triggered a series of violent explosions.

Massachusetts State Police say Columbia Gas is working to depressurize gas lines in the area.

Epping Fire Chief Don DeAngelis said his firefighters were asked to respond to a school in North Andover where they would be staged, along with Brentwood fire crews.

Police confirmed fires were raging in three communities north of Boston due to suspected gas explosions in the area.

The 10 injured people are being treated for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to traumatic blast injuries, one of whom remains in a critical condition.

Jill McDonald Halsey, a spokeswoman for Lawrence General Hospital, said the hospital now has five victims of the gas explosions and fires, and has activated it's emergency management plan.

"We are asking everybody with gas in their homes to leave their homes until further notice", North Andover town manager Andrew Maylor told one local television station.

Columbia Gas has been shutting off all service to customers in all three towns, MPS officials said in a tweet. Video showed roofs and walls consumed by flames that billowed thick black smoke. City Councillor Marc Laplante said authorities were shutting off electric power and urging residents in the Colonial Heights neighbourhood to head to Parthum elementary and middle schools.

It is believed the explosions were caused by gas leaks.

"Columbia Gas is investigating what happened on its system today", said Ken Stammen, a spokesman for NiSource.

There were at least 70 responses to fire, explosions and gas odor reports.

It is not clear whether maintenance work was happening at the time of the blasts. Just a few streets down, he said, homes were burning.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he is in contact with first responders and is actively monitoring the situation.

"There is no expectation people will be able to get into their houses this evening", Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said at a news conference.

The town of 35,000 residents is about 40 kilometres north of Boston near the New Hampshire border.

Warren and Seaman said the last time they responded to MA for a major blaze was the Malden Mills factory fire in Lawrence in 1995.

"I have been in the fire service for nearly 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career", Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mansfield said.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE