Authorities Respond to Numerous Gas Explosions, Fires in Northern Massachusetts

15 September, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Carlos George
  • Teenager killed as 'gas explosions' set homes ablaze

Fire departments from across southern New Hampshire sent crews over the border to Massachusetts Thursday after dozens of fires and gas explosions were reported in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said it was dispatching a team to support the state's emergency response efforts.

Neighborhoods across three communities were forced to evacuate as crews attempted to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage. Gas remained shut off on Friday (Saturday NZT) in most of the area, and the streets were eerily deserted.

Additional reporting for this story provided by Newsy affiliate CNN.

The teenager was taken to hospital but pronounced dead at 8.30pm, while 12 patients are being treated for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to blast trauma.

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

"Good thing I wasn't home or I wouldn't be talking about it", she said outside an elementary school in Lawrence that the Red Cross had converted into a shelter for about 170 people.

People cover their faces to protect themselves from heavy smoke.

Columbia Gas of MA, a NiSource company, in an update posted to its website at 11:10 a.m. Friday, said, "What happened in the Merrimack Valley.was a tragic incident".

Early on Friday (Saturday NZT), the utility issued a statement saying its crews need to visit each of the 8600 affected customers to shut off each gas metre and conduct a safety inspection.

"We continue to prepare for multiple casualties", the hospital said. The Columbia Gas company had announced earlier that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened.

It was not clear whether work was happening there at the time, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

Columbia Gas was sued in 2014 after a strip club was destroyed in a natural gas explosion.

The streets were darkened after nightfall with power cut off to the area as a precaution.

"Numerous evacuations of neighborhoods where there are gas odors are underway", MSP tweeted.

Erik Karlsson traded to Sharks
Hoffman, one of the team's most productive forwards , was dumped to the Sharks, who quickly moved him to the Panthers. A two-time Norris Trophy victor as the NHL's top blueliner, he has 126 goals and 518 points in 627 games.

Hurricane Florence eye 10 miles from Wilmington
Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres. Some of the people escaping the potential wrath of Hurricane Florence are finding shelter here in Northeast Ohio.

Real Madrid president not happy with Zidane's intention to manage Manchester United
Manchester United , who now sit tenth in the Premier League , return to action on Saturday, September 15 with a trip to Watford. Neville the pundit would say: he's a talented player but I want to see more consistency and leadership.

At the height of the disaster, Michael Rivera, who narrowly escaped a house fire, said his city "looked like a war zone". "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated".

Police drove up and down streets with bull horns telling residents to vacate their homes immediately.

Tyler Medeiros, 24, was sitting on his back patio in North Andover when police sirens started to go by.

A man whose neighbourhood was among those affected said he ran into his basement to find the room was glowing.

When he ran downstairs and saw the boiler on fire, he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out.

Minutes later, he said he heard a loud booming sound from his neighbor's house. Nam said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

A hospital in Lawrence says it's treating six people injured in fires and explosions.

Firefighters from the region on Thursday night responded to 60-80 structure fires in the three communities and about 150 emergency calls, according to MEMA chief Kurt Schwartz.

Aerial footage of the area showed some homes that appeared to be torn apart by the blasts. Solomon, who responded to Lawrence to help, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

The former head of the agency, Brigham McCown, called the series of gas explosions "unprecedented, at least in recent memory".

Local media say the first of a series of explosions was triggered by an overpressurised gas line.

In the past 20 years, about 100 people have died and 400 more have been hurt in major natural gas pipeline accidents investigated by the NTSB. Consolidated Edison later agreed to pay $153 million to settle charges after the state's Public Service Commission found Con Ed violated state safety regulations.

No additional gas-related emergencies had been reported on Friday.

Mr Baker said that he told the utility company it must bring in additional resources and develop a comprehensive safety plan for each of the communities.

Recommended:



Popular

The New iPhones Have Truly Killed the Headphone Jack
Apple just unveiled the iPhone XR at the Steve Jobs Theater, Cupertino, along with the iPhone XS and XS Max . New iPhones shipping to Hong Kong, China and Macau will all have SIM trays that can hold two SIM cards each.

Gunman shoots wife, four men dead in California
More than 30 people were reportedly interviewed during the initial investigation, and five search warrants were served. Another man then appeared at the scene and the husband shot at him, before pursuing him and shooting him dead.

Nintendo Switch Online launches on September 18th with 7-day free trial
Despite being classic NES games, Nintendo has at least been kind enough to add some modern day functionality to them. You can make use of a seven-day free trial by signing up on the Nintendo eShop starting September 18.

Theresa May rebukes 'blatant fabrication' of novichok suspects
RT ran part of the interview on Thursday morning, in which Petrov said: "We are those shown to you in the (CCTV) pictures". Then, days later, President Vladimir Putin vouched for them as just ordinary guys and anything but would-be hit men.

Windows 10 Bugs You to Try Edge Before Other Browsers
Now Microsoft is about to get even more invasive, by showing a full alert message whenever you try to change the default browser. Currently, this is only on an Insider build, but there's every chance it'll be on customer PCs in the October 2018 update.

'60 Minutes' chief Fager out at CBS
Fager, a former CBS News chairman, has also been accused of dissuading employees from reporting incidents to human resources. The 36-year CBS veteran has been at the center of allegations that CBS's news division fostered a culture of harassment.

WNBA Champions Storm vs Mystics Game 3 Recap
She had just accepted the WNBA Finals MVP trophy, and was still in shock from the 98-82 Game 3 win over the Washington Mystics . The Storm outscored the Mystics 26-14 in the second quarter to extend their lead to 46-30 at halftime and never looked back.

New York Democrats decide governor, attorney general races
She's called Cuomo a bully and says she represents a wave of liberals eager to take a greater role in American politics. Republicans already nominated Marcus Molinaro as their candidate for governor.

Rahul Gandhi Owned Kingfisher Airline By Proxy, Claims BJP
Jaitley in a post on Facebook on Wednesday evening wrote: "The statement is factually false in as much as it does not reflect truth".

Google's Pixel 3 launch event will happen on October 9th
The Pixel 3 will get a large display without a notch, while the Pixel 3 XL may have a massive display with a notch on the top. After the grand unveiling, a number of Pixel 3 XL unboxing, hands-on and full review will be published all over the Internet.