Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions: What We Know

Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions: What We Know


LAWRENCE (CBS) – Large sections of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover were evacuated Thursday afternoon after a series of gas explosions and fires. Here is the latest:

• An 18-year-old man died. At least 25 people injured
• Leonel Rondon was killed when a house exploded in Lawrence and a chimney crushed his SUV
• 13 people were treated at Lawrence General Hospital, all but 1 have been released
• 60-80 fires and 3 explosions, according to MEMA
• Gov. Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover
• Gov. Baker, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera critical of Columbia Gas’ response, Eversource will now take the lead in recovery efforts
• Eversource says it could take weeks to fully restore gas service
• National Grid hopes to restore power to the majority of customers on Saturday
• The issue is related to a high pressure gas main, possibly over-pressurized
• MEMA has no further information on the cause yet
• An estimated 8,500 gas meters in that region, served by Columbia Gas, were affected; multi-unit homes have multiple gas meters
• 3,500 meters were checked overnight, according to MEMA
• Emergency crews going door-to-door to turn off gas at each home (Read: List of Stay Away Streets)
• If your street appears on the safe list, (Andover | North Andover) please do not turn on the gas yourself

 The restoration process is expected to take several days or longer
• Affected Columbia Gas customers can call 1-866-388-3239 with questions
• Nearly 18,000 National Grid customers are without power in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover
• Andover Police say the power will be out until at least 9 a.m. Saturday
• Lawrence, Andover and North Andover leaders say there is no timeline on when residents can return
• All roads into Lawrence are closed until further notice
• All residents of South Lawrence, regardless of utility provider, were asked to evacuate
• Power shut off to South Lawrence, parts of Andover and North Andover. This includes traffic lights
• Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said undocumented residents should feel safe after evacuating their homes
• 38 fires extinguished in Andover alone, with 17 additional gas leaks
• 29 homes impacted in North Andover
• “It looked like Armageddon,” said Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield
• 10-alarm fire response in all 3 communities
• Firefighters and police from across eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire responded
• Red Cross reception centers: Andover Senior Center and Youth Center, North Andover High School, Parthum and Arlington Schools in Lawrence, Central Catholic and St. Mary’s Church in Lawrence
• Residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover can call 211 for information
• Commuter Rail service on the Haverhill line suspended beyond North Wilmington
• All off ramps from I-495 between Exits 42-45 were closed; on ramps remained open

For the rest of the article, see here 




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