Explosion erupts in 3 US towns, mass evacuation underway after 70 fires

Mass evacuation is underway in three US towns north of Boston after many fires and suspected gas explosions erupted on Thursday, injuring at least six people.

Massachusetts State police said that they have responded to 70 fire reports, explosions and smell of gas in a widespread zone along the east coast towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

fire explosion

Representative image of a fire explosion. Photo courtesy of Praisaeng/Freedigitalphotos.net

They tweeted: “Gas lines are currently being depressurised, and it will take some time”. And added “Numerous evacuations of neighbourhoods where there are gas odours are underway,” police said. “Far too early to speculate on cause. Joint investigation will be conducted when situation is stabilized”.

Residents in three towns with utilities service from Columbia Gas were asked to evacuate immediately. Authorities had to cut power to thousands of metres.

The company said that they would be upgrading natural gas lines in neighbourhoods across the states.

The mayor of Lawrence asked all the residents of southern zone of his town to evacuate their homes  ahead of planned power shutdown. Six patients are being treated at Lawrence General Hospital affected in gas explosions in which two of them are in critical condition. The hospital authorities said that they are prepared for multiple cases in case of any emergency.

Red Cross centers were open to accommodate evacuated people and school in Lawrence will be shut of Friday.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement he was “actively monitoring the situation and urging the residents to heed instructions from local officials.”

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