The residents of the three communities north of Boston, serviced by Columbia Gas, have been ordered to evacuate after a reported gas line rupture triggered a series of violent explosions.
Scores of homes have been damaged in the inferno. Photos posted on social media show raging fires and thick plumes of black smoke billowing from the buildings.
At least a dozen people have been injured in the explosions and fires. Lawrence General Hospital reported that of 10 people that had been taken to the facility, one patient is in critical and one in serious condition. One patient was transferred to another hospital for treatment. The injuries range from smoke inhalation to “traumatic blast injuries,” the hospital said, adding that its staff has been preparing “for multiple casualties.”
One person was killed when a chimney from an exploding house landed on his car. Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital, according to the Boston Globe.
Several houses have crumbled as result of the explosions that have swept through Lawrence.
Massachusetts State Police said that the gas lines are being depressurized, but noted that the process “will take some time.” All power in the three towns will be temporary shut off, to allow for essential repairs, police said.
Meanwhile, there are fears that the number of fires may rise, as police say the reports keep coming in.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!