Boston gas blasts like 'Armageddon'

Boston gas blasts like 'Armageddon'

Federal investigators were dispatched to three towns just outside Boston after dozens of explosions and fires along NiSource Inc.'s natural gas network left at least one person dead and 13 injured and displaced over 8,000 customers.

Help us grow and continue telling Israel's story to the world. Thirteen people were received at Lawrence General Hospital for injuries related to the explosions from smoke inhalation to blast trauma, according to the hospital's Facebook page.

"It was very scary", Williams said, with smoke visible on the skyline.

The state police described the incidents as gas explosions and structure fires and said they were also reported in the town of Andover.

Management for the American Gas Association (AGA), which represents more than 200 companies that deliver gas throughout the United States, said, "Our hearts go out to those who are suffering and have lost loved ones and homes as a result of the tragic incidents in MA".

The company that owns Columbia Gas said its crews are performing safety checks after a series of fires and explosions erupted in three communities north of Boston, but did not explain what went wrong.

Residents in North Andover who were evacuated were told to "expect that the restoration process will take several days - or longer", by the town manager, Andrew Maylor. The agency confirmed at least 70 responses to fire, explosions and gas odor reports.

Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said 25 to 30 active fires were in progress in Andover, according Board of Selectman Chairman Alex Vispoli.

Police drove up and down streets with bull horns telling residents to vacate their homes immediately. Fires burned on Kingston, Inman and Springfield streets. "There are a lot of cars at the end of the street".

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Andover Police sent out an automated phone call telling residents to evacuate their homes and turn off the gas, and North Andover Police told residents and businesses with gas service to exit their buildings until further notice. The group was then immediately dispatched to Lawrence to meet up with other crews gathering at a staging area at the Showcase Cinemas site. "At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time", they said, adding that all fires have been extinguished and fire crews will remain in the town throughout the evening.

Fire crews from around MA and Southern New Hampshire worked together Thursday to extinguish the dozens of fires that broke out throughout the afternoon and evening. "We need to get on with this".

"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.

The fire crews were from as far away as Foxborough and Oxford in central MA.

"We are sorry", he said.

Gov. Charlie Baker said, "The depressurization of the lines in the shutdown was created to ensure that there would be no more fires this evening", although he added firefighters will continue to extinguish fires throughout the night. One patient was transferred to another hospital for treatment.

Local media say the first of a series of explosions was triggered by an overpressurised gas line. "From an investment standpoint, for NiSource, this is a small part of their system", Fishman said.

Gas utilities have come under heightened scrutiny in recent years for an aging network of pipelines that critics say are not being properly inspected and maintained, posing a growing risk to public safety.

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