Massachusetts (US): Residents of north Boston in Massachusetts were asked to evacuate immediately after multiple fires and gas explosions were reported at 39 confirmed locations on Thursday. Four people, including one firefighter, are said to have sustained minor injuries in Andover. No casualty has been reported so far.
The incident began about 5 p.m. when several explosions occurred in buildings in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.
Massachusetts State Police said that the services responded to at least 70 cases of gas odour, explosions, and fires. 35 cases were reported in Andover alone. The fires were reported across a “wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover,” the state police said. At least 18 fires were burning at the same time.
The injured are being treated at Lawrence General Hospital and two people are said to be in a critical condition. Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said that there were so many fires at a particular time that you could not even see the sky.
Even though there was no immediate report on the case of the fire, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency blamed the gas lines that had become over-pressurized. The officials said that they are investigating and ease out the pressure on the gas pipes.
Soon after the fire, Andover police sent out an alarm urging residents to evecuate their homes and turn their gas pipes off. Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said that all the residents have been asked to evacuate their homes. “What we need folks to do is that if it’s happening in your home, you have a funny smell, just evacuate, come out to the street,” he said.