Residents Allowed To Return Home Days After Merrimack Valley Explosions

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 16, 2018

Thousands of people have been moved out after gas explosions tore through three towns in MA, setting dozens of homes on fire and killing a teenager.

At a press conference Sunday morning, Gov. Baker warned those returning home to remain vigilant and patient.

At least one person, a teen, was killed and several more were injured when more than 60 suspected gas fires broke out in the three towns north of Boston.

Sumwalt said it appears Columbia Gas' pipeline control centre in Columbus, Ohio, registered a pressure increase in the Lawrence area.

The local utility in that area shut down all power in the three towns for the gas lines to be depressurized.

Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mansfield likened the scene to "Armageddon".

The NTSB would not say how Columbia Gas' accident history compares to other natural gas suppliers.

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.

Federal and state officials are investigating.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said that city officials will work with residents to eliminate red tape. About 25 people, including two firefighters, were wounded, officials said. "We do it electronically; we do it physically", said Don Rendell, the president and CEO of Vermont Gas. Declaring a state of emergency gave the state authority to decide who would oversee the response, he said.

"People have a right to know", Markey told reporters.

Investigators expect to be on site up to ten days.

In April this year, NiSource's Columbia Gas of MA filed a petition with the state's Department of Public Utilities to increase annual revenues in order to help the company replace aging infrastructure.

Officials, meanwhile, are also warning about donations scammers.

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