Gas explosions, fires strike Boston suburbs

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A man was killed as a series of explosions and fires rocked almost 40 homes and businesses in three MA towns on Thursday, according to the Essex County District Attorney's office. "We have had similar issues on a much smaller scale".

Around the same time, State Police said electricity was being shut off for all residents in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover, where some were still reporting an odour tied to natural gas.

"The follow through just was not there", Baker said.

"Everyone wants answers. And we deserve them", he said. "I think Columbia Gas should hold a public meeting no later than 4pm today with the press".

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera told WBZ: "What we know is that there are have been multiple explosions, multiple fires that are happening across the city". "I don't think that anybody else managing this would've been further down the road than we are at the moment". We will support you and your family.

MA police say the explosions in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover rocked numerous neighbourhoods on Thursday afternoon and evacuations are underway where gas odours were present.

"At this time, the focus remains on ensuring the public safety", Mr Baker said.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said it appeared the gas lines had become over-pressurised. As long as it takes.

Fire and smoke billowing out of a home in Boston, in the U.S. state of MA.

"Far too early to speculate on cause". More than 500 resources from several affiliated Columbia Gas companies and other utilities are now mobilizing to provide assistance.

Following the explosions over 60 properties caught fire. This is about getting people who live here safe.

One person was killed when a chimney from an exploding house landed on his auto.

The fatality occured when a chimney collapsed onto a auto.

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Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon died when his vehicle was crushed by a falling chimney, a spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

When he ran downstairs and saw the boiler on fire, he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out. Minutes later, Mr Nam said he heard a loud boom from his neighbour's house and the ground shook. Three people rushed out. "This event will probably go on. probably another week, a week and a half", he said. "I've never seen anything like this".

Gas technicians and first responders were going door-to-door reviewing thousands of homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover and shutting down gas mains as residents wait in shelters. That directed 20 fire engines and 10 fire ladder trucks to the Town of Andover plus the town's entire fire department.

The investigation into the cause of the explosions and fires remains active and ongoing.

Johnny Tran, who lives near the house where a teenager was killed by the blasts in Lawrence, was at home when the explosions occurred.

The blazes left 8,000 people unable to go home on Thursday.

Emergency response teams responded to the incidents that affected residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, communities about a half hour north of Boston. All state offices in the three towns were also closed, and nonemergency employees were told to stay home. "However, it will take a number of years to eliminate the aging pipe from the gas distribution system".

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

His two friends remained hospitalized Thursday night.

The company that provides natural gas service to the MA communities affected by a series of gas explosions and fires says it expects "an extended restoration effort".

"Replacing leak-prone infrastructure is a leading priority", the utility said in April. There were evacuations in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover - just north of Boston.

Customers with Columbia Gas have been primarily affected.

Hundreds of residents have been told to evacuate their homes and there is a strong smell of gas in their air.

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