One killed and 12 injured after 60 properties EXPLODE in flames across three Boston suburbs in unexplained gas main meltdown – with families evacuated from hundreds of unsafe homes overnight

Friday, September 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

Leonel Rondon, 18, has been identified as the 18-year-old man killed in Lawrence on Thursday
Up to 60 fires were reported in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover
Officials said problems with the natural gas system caused multiple explosions
Those affected were customers of Columbia Gas which had just announced plans to work on its network when the explosions began
Authorities are yet to determine the exact cause of the disaster and an investigation is underway

14 September 2018

A teenager was killed and 12 others were injured after a problem in a gas line caused dozens of explosions and fires in the Boston suburbs.

Thousands of people were evacuated as up to 60 fires started burning in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Thursday afternoon because of a problem with the natural gas system.

Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said it ‘looked like Armageddon’, with decimated homes and so much smoke you ‘couldn’t see the sky’.

Authorities said Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died after a chimney toppled by an exploding house crashed into his car. He was rushed to a Boston hospital but pronounced dead there in the evening.

Firefighters from some 50 different fire departments have been working to douse the flames.

Ten people have been hurt, including one firefighter in Andover. Town officials said two civilians in Andover were also injured.

In Lawrence, at least four people were said to be undergoing treatment at Lawrence General Hospital as of Thursday night, according to WHDH.

A woman trapped in her house during the explosion suffered leg injuries.

Authorities have also announced that electricity in all three towns was shut down, according to the Boston Herald.

‘Gas lines are currently being depressurized,’ Massachusetts State Police tweeted, adding that ‘it will take some time.’

‘Numerous evacuations of neighborhoods where there are gas odors are underway,’ police said.

‘Far too early to speculate on cause. Joint investigation will be conducted when situation is stabilized.’

Authorities cut power to thousands of meters, police said, and residents in all three towns with utilities service from Columbia Gas had been asked to evacuate immediately.

‘It looked like Armageddon, it really did,’ Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters.

‘There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover.’

The Rest…HERE

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