Leonel Robson, 18, was inside his car when a chimney from a house explosion fell on his vehicle, the Essex County District Attorney’s office said. Robson was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At least 13 patients were taken to Lawrence General Hospital as a result of the gas fires. The hospital said one critical patient was taken to a trauma center, while the other injuries ranged from minor smoke inhalation to blast trauma.
Residents in the aforementioned towns that are serviced by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts 8220;should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so,8221; police advised. Gas service was shut down by the company to roughly 8,000 customers.
8220;Numerous evacuations of neighborhoods where there are gas odors are underway,8221; MSP tweeted. Columbia Gas was working to depressurize its gas lines, which 8220;will take some time,8221; while National Grid cut electricity to the three towns 8220;to limit spark-started fires.8221;
Solomon — who noted there were no fires in Methuen but the town8217;s first responders aided areas in need — said that in Lawrence alone, there were roughly 20 to 25 homes on fire. He said there were so many fires 8220;you can8217;t even see the sky.8221;
Merrimack College, which is located in North Andover, advised that 8220;in an over abundance of caution,8221; students and faculty needed to evacuate all buildings on campus, but later said all buildings were 8220;safe for re-entry.8221;
The Columbia Gas company announced earlier Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened. It was not clear whether work was happening there Thursday, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment.
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