A series of gas explosions have hit neighborhoods outside of Boston. At least one person has been killed, with over 20 more injured.
The injuries include minor smoke inhalation, to severe blast trauma and injury. Dozens of homes have been destroyed, with around 70 fires being reported throughout the area. 8,000 people are currently displaced from their home, and around 18,000 residents are without power.
Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters, “It looked like Armageddon. There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see plumes of smoke in front of me. … It just looked like an absolute war zone.”
The man who died was 18 year old Leonel Rondon. He died when an explosion knocked over a chimney, which landed on his car. Two other people were in the car at the time of the accident.
Residents whose homes are serviced by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts are urged to stay away from their home until further notice. A potential cause of the explosion could be over-pressurization of a gas main owned by Columbia Gas. The National Transportation Safety Board reports, “…multiple explosions involving (a) natural gas pipeline in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts”. The company recently announced they would be upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across Massachusetts.