Boston-area explosions have MA governor declaring state of emergency

Boston-area explosions have MA governor declaring state of emergency

He was rushed to a Boston hospital and pronounced dead Thursday evening.

Family members told local media that he had been in the auto with two friends, who were now in hospital.

In a statement released Thursday night, Columbia Gas said only that crews were responding to multiple fires in the area.

Jill McDonald Halsey, a spokeswoman for Lawrence General Hospital, said the hospital now has five victims of the gas explosions and fires, and has activated it's emergency management plan.

Columbia Gas worked to depressurise its gas lines but this took time.

Baker said state and local authorities were investigating but it could take days or weeks before they turn up answers.

The streets were darkened after utility crews cut off electricity and began shutting down gas service to the area to prevent further blasts.

Lawrence's Rivera said Friday morning that officials were not yet letting people in South Lawrence back into their homes. Lawrence, the largest of them, is a majority Latino city with a population of about 80,000.

At least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians, town officials said in a statement.

LAWRENCE - Some 3,500 homes have already been cleared of unsafe gas leaks, but about 5,000 across Lawrence, Andover and North Andover remain, officials said at a press conference late Friday morning, but officials said the cause of the disaster has not yet been determined.

Keefe, and Fire Chief Michael Mansfield report that the Town of Andover is now involved in a major gas-related emergency. Gas remained shut off on Friday (Saturday NZT) in most of the area, and the streets were eerily deserted.

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Power was shut off to all of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover.

"Lawrence is a very resilient community".

"The administration urges residents to heed instructions from local officials for important public safety announcements, including evacuations and suspending gas usage".

A house is destroyed in Lawrence after a series of gas explosions in the area.

The risky situation that led to more than 60 gas explosions and house fires in three MA communities has "stabilized", emergency management officials still beseeched homeowners in the affected area Friday not to turn on their gas.

Fire investigators suspected "over-pressurization of a gas main" belonging to Columbia Gas of MA led to the series of explosions and fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said at a news conference. A company spokeswoman did not immediately provide comment. Fire and utility crews were going door to door to conduct safety checks, officials said.

Massachusetts State Police say troopers have been dispatched to the three towns to secure scenes and help traffic that has snarled roads as panicked residents attempt to flee their suburbs amid the afternoon peak hour.

Live TV pictures show firefighters tackling blazes engulfing a number of houses.

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told The Associated Press that up to 25 homes were on fire in the city of Lawrence alone. "NPU's track record of helping those in need - whenever and wherever we can - is a source of great pride for the men and women of our organization".

Chief Michael Mansfield requested through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, two additional fire task forces to respond to Andover. Consolidated Edison later agreed to pay US$153 million to settle charges after the state's Public Service Commission found Con Ed violated state safety regulations. Most of Columbia Gas's leaks were due to pipe, weld or joint failures.

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