Multiple gas explosions set homes ablaze near Boston, forcing evacuations

Xinhua
Dozens of suspected gas explosions and fires hit across three communities north of Boston on Thursday, prompting numerous evacuations of neighborhoods.
Xinhua
Reuters

A fire engine is seen near a building emitting smoke after explosions in Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States in this September 13, 2018, still image from social media video footage by Boston Sparks.

Dozens of suspected gas explosions and fires hit across three communities north of Boston, the US state of Massachusetts, on Thursday, prompting numerous evacuations of neighborhoods, state police said.

At least four people were injured in the blaze, according to a local hospital.

Massachusetts State Police said they were currently responding to 70 fires, explosions, investigations of gas odor.

The fires and explosions "spread over wide swath of south #Lawrence and northern part of #NorthAndover with several others across Merrimack River in north Lawrence," it said via Twitter.

It was too early to speculate on a cause, the police said, ordering the evacuations of all residents in the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover who have Columbia Gas.

The police said the power company will shut off power to all of the three communities.

The large scale fire erupted after the pressurized subterranean gas lines reportedly burst, local media said.

Lawrence General Hospital said in a statement that it had treated four fire-related victims and was prepared to treat more after activating its emergency management plan.

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon told media there were so many fires "you can't even see the sky."

He estimated that 20 to 25 homes were on fire in Lawrence, about 30 miles north of Boston.


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