MA officials briefing on gas explosion latest

Blanche Robertson
September 16, 2018

Local officials in Lawrence and Andover say residents have reported receiving calls from individuals falsely claiming they're collecting donations on behalf of a local firefighter's association for the disaster. All homes should have power restored by later in the morning, he said. "We will do right by your money and that support".

Lawrence, Andover and North Andover - the three towns impacted by Thursday's blasts - were listed as areas where neighborhood lines would be replaced, the utility said on its website.

Michael Mansfield, the Andover fire chief, said: "I have never seen anything like this". Leonel Rondon, 18, and two of his friends were in the vehicle when the debris struck, his family told CNN affiliate WHDH. He died at a hospital, authorities said.

As of 7 a.m. Sunday, residents in Merrimack Valley could safely return to their homes, four days after gas explosions and fires forced them out of their homes.

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She said it was dark inside and she thought Jean was a burglar, and that she shot him after he didn't obey her "verbal commands". But then around 5 p.m., the family's lawyers were alerted to some apparent breaking news in the investigation into Jean's death.

"We are very interested to understand the operations of Columbia Gas. We will be looking at their record keeping, their procedural compliance, their procedures, their training, the oversight of their contractors", Sumwalt said Saturday. A final report could take up to two years.

There is no evidence at this time that anything nefarious contributed to the fires, Sumwalt said. Sumwalt said the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the gas companies will make that decision, not the NTSB.

Police and fire personnel, as well as 120 utility representatives, will be on standby as people return to their homes, the governor said. They say their system is up to date, modern and created to ensure that when gas flows into a customer's home, it's flowing at the appropriate pressure. Rivera also said all routes into and out of Lawrence are open. It makes them feel special that people out there care about us - that the Red Sox were taking cash donations at the games, that stuff is really great.

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