U.S. News


Some Massachusetts Residents Headed Home After Gas Fires, Explosions

One person died and a dozen others were injured in the explosions.
Posted at 2:05 PM, Sep 16, 2018

Some Massachusetts residents finally headed back home Sunday after explosions and gas fires forced them to evacuate Thursday evening.

One person died and a dozen others were injured in the events.

Officials suspect overpressurized gas pipelines caused the explosions and more than 60 gas fires in three neighborhoods near Boston.

At least 12 families' homes were completely destroyed.

On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a state of emergency. In a press conference he said he was putting Eversource Energy in charge of coordinating the response to the explosions. Local officials complained at the time that the company in charge of the affected pipeline, Columbia Gas, wasn't responding. 

One local media outlet reports Columbia Gas has been the center of prior investigations. It has reportedly been fined $100,000 over the last seven years for safety violations including improper pressure testing.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the explosions and fires. NTSB's chairman said Saturday that a gas pipeline controller noticed a pressure surge in the area of the Lawrence, Andover and North Andover neighborhoods when the explosions and fires happened.

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.