Fires, explosions erupt in multiple U.S. towns near Boston

Massachusetts explosion

Fitzgerald Billet walked a mile from a police blockade on the Andover-Lawrence line to reach his home on Crosby Street.

The President of the gas company held a brief press conference Friday afternoon but all he said was that the investigation would be taken over by the NTSB and would "take time". We will support you and your family. "We'll look at the emergency response, the system safety program of the pipeline operator".

"Unlike other gas utility explosions that unfortunately occur every few years, this one appears to have been caused by the utility working on the gas lines immediately before the explosions occurred", the analysts said.

"Weather permitting, work will take place Monday through Friday", Columbia Gas said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the MA natural gas distribution system has piping more than a century old, making it one of the oldest in the United States. All anyone could point to was a notice posted on the gas company's website Thursday morning which said they were going to be doing some work in the neighborhood.

Authorities say an 18-year-old man has died after a house exploded amid gas explosions north of Boston, sending a chimney crashing into his vehicle.

"This remains a tremendous inconvenience for many people", Baker said.

The explosion destroyed three homes and sent flames shooting into the air.

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Hours earlier, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield described a starkly different situation.

"Lawrence is coming together in a way we expected", Rivera said.

At least three people, including one firefighter, were hurt in Andover, the town said in a statement.

In an interview with WBZ, Moulton said that "you see the best of the American spirit" at the shelters.

Andover responded and put out 35 total fires in Andover.

No additional gas-related emergencies had been reported on Friday. "The least informed and the last to act has been Columbia Gas", he said of the utility's response.

First responders in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover - assisted by emergency crews from around the state and New Hampshire - fielded about 150 emergency calls Thursday.

Massachusetts State Police say troopers are responding to the area to help secure areas after "multiple suspected gas explosions".

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Not all of the fires have been fully extinguished yet, Mayor Dan Rivera said at a 00:30 local (04:30 GMT) press conference.

Investigators reportedly suspect that the explosions and fires were caused by a gas main owned by Columbia Gas of MA that was over-pressurized.

One incident may have been prevented by a State Police helicopter crew.

The blasts on Thursday destroyed scores of homes and other buildings in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, left more than 18,000 homes and businesses without power and forced thousands of people from their homes.

Tactical flight officer and Trooper Eric Fairchild was monitoring the aircraft's forward looking infrared camera "when he observed an anomaly under the pavement at the intersection of Broadway and Andover St".

Nearly 18,000 customers were without power on Thursday evening because of the emergency switch-offs, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. "Safety is our top priority", it said.

What happened in the Merrimack Valley yesterday was a tragic incident. He said residents detecting odd odours should leave their homes.

"Today on a number of very significant issues, we heard one thing and something else happened", Baker told reporters. "It's terrible for the people affected, but a pretty small impact in terms of the gas market".

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A series of gas explosions has seen more than 25 homes erupt into flames on America's east coast, sending residents fleeing in terror. The club owner and the gas company eventually settled the case.

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