Published: Mon, September 17, 2018

MA gas-blast: Residents allowed home after fires and explosions

MA gas-blast: Residents allowed home after fires and explosions

Investigators suspected the fires were caused by "over-pressurisation of a gas main" belonging to Columbia Gas lines.

All impacted homes have been safely cleared of gas, he said, and 8,600 gas meters in the area have been shut off.

"We're very happy people can return to their homes", Baker said.

A man was killed and at least 25 people were injured in Thursday's fires and explosions. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

Restoration of gas service to homes and buildings throughout the area will take longer, officials said.

"It's evident to me and to all of us the Merrimack Valley and the residents of our state are being as supportive as they can be and as kind as they can be to one another during this most hard time", the Republican governor said.


"I want to commend the teams of police officers, firefighters and utility workers who worked diligently to meet this morning's goal of reopening all homes in town to residents", Town Manager Flanagan said.

Some 60 homes and businesses north of Boston in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover experienced explosions and fires.

Vermont Gas reminds customers that if you smell gas or think you might be experiencing a leak, call them right away.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Saturday as federal officials opened their investigation into Thursday's disaster that there doesn't appeal to be "anything nefarious, anything suspicious, anything intentional".

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.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera became emotional at the news conference while thanking people for support and donations to the Lawrence Emergency Fund. "This is not a time to make sure we have three copies of every document".

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