A home flattened by gas explosion

NiSource subsidiary linked to Massachusetts gas explosions and home fires

Contributed By:The 411 News

Three towns were supplied with natural gas from Columbia Gas

A series of house fires in 3 Massachusetts towns Thursday evening are being linked to Columbia Gas, a subsidiary of Merrillville-based NiSource that supplies natural gas to customers in the towns of Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence.

NiSource’s statement on its website Friday read, “What happened in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts yesterday was a tragic incident. We are saddened to learn of the death of a young man as a result of these events. Our thoughts and continued support are with those who have been injured and affected. Our Columbia Gas of Massachusetts team is focused on providing as much support as possible to our customers, residents and communities.”

Escaping gases and gas explosions are suspected to be the causes of nearly 70 incidents of fires, explosions, and gas leaks including dozens of home fires. Twenty-five people were injured and thousands were forced to evacuate.

On Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in the towns. He also replaced Columbia Gas with the utility Eversource Gas as the lead in recovery efforts.

Gas and electricity have been shut off to the region.

According to reports, the electric utility National Grid said it expects to return electric service by Sunday.

Even after residents return and their electricity is restored, gas service won’t be turned on until technicians can inspect every connection in each home – a process that could take weeks.

Story Posted:09/15/2018

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