Boston gas blasts like 'Armageddon'

  • Boston gas blasts like 'Armageddon'

Boston gas blasts like 'Armageddon'

At least one person died and 12 were injured after dozens of fires and suspected gas explosions erupted leading to mass evacuations from U.S. towns north of Boston, police said.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon was killed inside a auto in Lawrence when a chimney fell on his vehicle from a house explosion, a spokeswoman with the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

"Numerous evacuations of neighbourhoods where there are gas odours are underway", police said.

Crews scrambled to fight blazes at 39 properties and turned off gas and electricity lines to prevent further damage, with Massachusetts State Police urging all residents with homes serviced by Columbia Gas to leave.

Massachusetts State Police say gas lines are now being depressurized by the company. Authorities are evacuating residents from parts of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

A man has died and at least 10 other people were injured after a series of gas explosions destroyed homes and sparked evacuations in the United States city of Boston. "At peak, 18 fires were burning at the same time", they said, adding that all fires have been extinguished and fire crews will remain in the town throughout the evening.

Six patients were being treated at Lawrence General Hospital, CBS Boston reports. The first explosion was triggered by an overpressurized gas line, WBZ News reported.

Residents who were evacuated "should expect that the restoration process will take several days or longer", Mr Andrew Maylor, the town manager of North Andover, said on Twitter.

Officials say an issue with a high pressure gas main has affected Lawrence, North Andover and Andover. "My first thought was this is a gas explosion".

State police are reporing 70 fires and gas explosions were reported today.

Columbia Gas, a unit of utility NiSource Inc, is investigating, NISource spokesman Ken Stammen said on Thursday.

"There could be still a gas leak in your home", Mr Rivera said."You can't see it and in some cases you won't be able to smell it, and God forbid you go to sleep and don't wake up".

Firefighters put out 35 fires in Andover, town officials said. A company spokeswoman did not immediately provide comment.

Preliminary numbers estimate that between 60 and 100 homes in the Merrimack Valley caught fire in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Soloman said. "What we need folks to do is that if it's happening in your home, you have a amusing smell, just evacuate, come out to the street".

"Right now, we're just trying to keep people safe".

The three communities house more than 146,000 residents about 26 miles (40 kilometres) north of Boston, near the New Hampshire border.

North Andover resident Laurie Williams, 55, said she drove home from work to find police and fire vehicles blocking streets near her home, and learned that three buildings nearby were on fire. Lawrence, the largest of them, is a majority Latino city with a population of about 80,000.

"I can't think of a series of natural gas-related incidents like this", McCown, who led PHMSA under President George W. Bush, told Reuters by telephone.