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No evidence deadly gas explosion near Boston was 'nefarious'

16 September 2018

"This is a good example of someone coming home, as we've asked, finding something wrong, and telling us right away", Moriarty said.

The dramatic series of explosions and fires Thursday destroyed or damaged dozens of homes, killed a teenager, injured dozens and forced thousands of people to evacuate from the three Merrimack Valley communities. "There's oftentimes a tendency, when there are accidents like this, for a company to huddle down, to try to protect their shareholders when their one goal should be just to protect the people who they are serving".

"It looked like Armageddon, it really did", said Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield.

Leonel Rondon, 18, was killed inside a auto in the town of Lawrence when a chimney fell on his vehicle from a house explosion, a spokeswoman with the Essex County District Attorney's office said. He later died at the hospital, authorities said.

A pipeline controller working at a console in Columbus, Ohio, noticed the pressure increase in a pipeline in Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the three towns where the fires occurred, Sumwalt told CNN's Alison Kosik.

Earlier Thursday, before the fires broke out, the utility company that services the area announced it would be upgrading natural gas lines in neighborhoods across the state.

"We're very interested to understand the operations of Columbia Gas", he said.

There is no evidence that anything nefarious contributed to the fires, Sumwalt said. The integrity management system of the pipeline operator Columbia Gas.

At least 25 people were treated for injuries. Utility crews worked through the weekend to make sure all of the gas meters were off and electricity was on.

The entirety of South Lawrence is still under an evacuation warning, Mayor Dan Rivera said Friday morning.

Baker added that much more work remains in the recovery effort.

Utility President Steve Bryant later defended the company's performance, saying the company had remained in constant touch with state and federal officials.

No evidence deadly gas explosion near Boston was 'nefarious'