Massachusetts explosions hit Lawrence Andover and North Andover due to gas leak | World | News


Police say they are dealing with explosions or fires in 39 locations.

No injuries have been officially reported. 

Howver one person has been reported dead by local media.

It is not known if there are any other casualties.

Over 60 properties are now on fire.

According to Methuen Police Chief Joseph Soloman there are currently 20 fires burning in Andover, 20-25 in Lawrence and 20-25 in North Andover.

Residents of all three towns who use Columbia Gas have been told to leave their houses immediately as has anyone else who smells gas.

Columbia Gas is currently working to depressurise its gas lines but this will take some time.

Streets near the explosions are also being evacuated.

It is believed the explosions have been caused by gas leaks.

Massachusetts State Police released a statement saying: “Incidents are across a wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover.

“Numerous evacuations of neighbourhoods where there are gas orders are underway.

“Far too early to speculate on cause.

“Joint investigation will be conducted when situation is stabilised.”

Aerial footage shows firefighters tackling blazes at several properties.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon claimed there are so many fires “you can’t even see the sky”.

The Mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts, has said the explosions were caused by “over-pressured gas valves.”

Merrimack College, a private Catholic school in North Andover, has instructed its staff and students to evacuate “immediately”.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has released a statement saying: “Governor Baker is actively monitoring the situations in the Merrimack Valley and is communicating with first responders and public safety officials.

“The administration urges residents to heed instructions from local officials for important public safety announcements, including evacuations and suspending gas usage.”

More to follow…

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