One killed, several injured after multiple gas blasts destroy MA homes

A screenshot from local media shows one of the buildings that caught fire after a series of explosions

The town of 35,000 residents is about 40 kilometres north of Boston near the New Hampshire border.

The officials said that they are investigating and ease out the pressure on the gas pipes. "We are saddened to learn of the death of a young man as a result of these events", the statement read. "Our thoughts are with everyone affected by today's incident". We are grateful for the community's patience, as well as the tremendous support we have received from our first responder and law enforcement partners. "The least informed and the last to act has been Columbia Gas", he said of the utility's response.

Authorities said nothing to indicate any foul play was suspected.

Early in the evening, Columbia Gas customers were urged to turn off the gas service to their homes.

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

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency for the area while expressing frustration with the utility company whose gas pipeline exploded.

Additional reporting for this story provided by Newsy affiliate CNN. The blast levelled the Scores Gentleman's Club, injuring about 20 people and damaging dozens of other buildings.

A teenager in a auto outside a home on Chickering Road was killed when an explosion launched a chimney onto his vehicle, officials said.

Firefighters battle a house fire in Boston.

National Grid Plc, which operates the electric utility in the area, was asked to shut power to all of Lawrence and North Andover and pockets of Andover, spokeswoman Christine Milligan said.

At least three people have been injured in Andover, including one firefighter and two civilians, town officials said in a statement. Solomon, who responded to Lawrence to help, said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

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Fire crews from around MA and Southern New Hampshire worked together Thursday to extinguish the dozens of fires that broke out throughout the afternoon and evening.

The Eagle-Tribune newspaper in North Andover reports at least one home has been destroyed and several others have caught fire amid a problem with a gas line that feeds homes in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. "However, it will take a number of years to eliminate the aging pipe from the gas distribution system".

The State Police Fusion Center said the gas explosions and reports were "spread across a wide swath" of South Lawrence, North Andover and in North Lawrence.

"Far too early to speculate on cause" of the explosions, authorities said.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said it would likely take investigators some time to examine the pipeline's design, maintenance and upgrades.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency blamed over-pressurized gas lines for starting the fires, but officials on the scene are still investigating.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to MA to investigate.

Trooper Eric Fairchild, who is the mission's tactical flight officer, was using the helicopter's Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera when he noticed something under the pavement at the intersection of Broadway and Andover Street.

Chief Keefe notes that police resources from throughout Massachusetts have responded to Andover, including the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) Rapid Response Team, the NEMLEC Motor Unit, and the Massachusetts State Police.

"Through their attention to detail, the crew of MSP Air 5 likely prevented another catastrophic event", State Police said.

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