Dozens of gas explosions have hit neighborhoods outside of Boston, displacing thousands of people. Dozens of homes have been destroyed, and 18,000 residents are without power. Close to 70 fires have been reported throughout the area.
At least one person has been killed, when an explosion knocked over a chimney and landed on his car. It killed 18 year old Leonel Rondon, and injured two others in the car. 20 other injuries have been reported, which include minor smoke inhalation, and severe blast trauma and injury.
A potential cause of the explosion points to over-pressurization of a gas main owned by Columbia Gas. The National Transportation Safety Board reports, “…multiple explosions involving (a) natural gas pipeline in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts”. Residents whose homes are serviced by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts are urged to stay away until further notice.
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts serves over 300,000 customers. The company recently announced they would be upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across the state.