At least seventeen FIFTY SEVENTY homes and businesses in Andover and Lawrence, Massachusetts, have exploded into flames within the past 30 minutes.
It is initially believed that some type of gas-main malfunction is ongoing right now which may have caused massive over-pressure into home and business gas lines, causing them to rupture and explode.
Numerous buildings are on fire throughout Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence, Mass.
EVACUATIONS OF SOUTH LAWRENCE, MA ORDERED BY MAYOR. 40,000 RESIDENTS TOLD TO EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY
Massachusetts State Police are warning residents STATEWIDE to immediately evacuate any structure if they smell ANY gas leak at all.
It is not known what caused this and it is not known if more structures will explode and burn.
Here is a map released by the Massachusetts State Police showing at least 17 different explosions and fires (Blue Dots):
Additional homes exploding in North Andover:
Breaking MAJOR GAS EXPLOSION— Paul Bassett (@PaulBassett) September 13, 2018
Lawrence Ma and surrounding towns reporting a major gas leak. At least 15 building fires active right now.
Many injured. Some houses have been blown to pieces.
Now reported to be FIFTY Home/Business Explosions in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, Mass. Mayor of Lawrence Mass. is allegedly ORDERING EVACUATION of the southern half of that city . . . . 40,000 people reportedly being told to flee for their lives immediately.
Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence, is urging all residents in the southern portion of that city to evacuate their homes and drive north out of the city.
Now reported twelve MORE explosions/fires where NO FIRE UNITS AVAILABLE or assigned to respond. Fire services are TOTALLY overwhelmed. Mutual aid from surrounding towns responding. . . .
Police Chief Joseph Solomon— Intel Doge (@IntelDoge) September 13, 2018
"There are so many fires, you can't even see the sky."
Residents in the affected towns of Lawrence/North Andover/Andover who have gas service from Columbia Gas should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so. Gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company it will take some time.— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) September 13, 2018
Local Gas Company has been in a labor dispute for weeks, and the the Gas workers are NOT on strike BUT Locked Out - maybe related
MORE THAN 2 DOZEN FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN LAWRENCE FIGHTING MULTIPLE FIRES ..... SEVERAL FIREFIGHTERS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL... SEVERAL CIVILIANS AS WELL... NO TOTALS
It's been more than three weeks since National Grid locked out unionized gas workers in Massachusetts. Roughly 1,100 gas workers employed by National Grid are off the job after the company and steel unions failed to come to any agreement during contract negotiations.
According to Steel unions Local 12003 and Local 12012, which represent the gas workers, contract negotiations fractured over a number of issues, mainly those related to pensions for new hires, changes to workers' health care plans and contracted work. On June 25, National Grid workers were officially locked out of work as the company enacted a "comprehensive work contingency plan"
60-100 HOMES ON FIRE IN THE MERRIMACK VALLEY RIGHT NOW. MULTIPLE INJURIES - per Methuen Police Chief at the command center @bo— Kathryn Burcham (@kathrynburcham) September 13, 2018
Reports now that a McDonald's REstaurant in Andover has exploded and is on fire.
Mututal Aid requested from New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine as fire departments run out of trucks to fight the fires.
Another . . .
Electric Power off for all of Lawrence, North Andover and Andover as crews try to get gas line situation under control. The hope is that with electricity turned off, even if additional gas mains rupture in homes, there won't be a source of ignition.
(Except for the homes with Computer UPS and self-starting electric generators)
The word "SABOTAGE" is being spoken aloud among investigators at the command center in Massachusetts. Gas line pressure is controlled by COMPUTERS. Those systems are loaded with all sorts of sensors and monitors.
Some folks are wondering out loud how such a tightly controlled system could have gotten so over-pressured as to cause these explosions without the primary or secondary sensors sounding alarms all over the place . . . . . unless the systems were COMPROMISED and caused to deliberately overload by a malicious perpetrator.
Approximately forty (40) different municipal Police and fire departments now on scenes.
INSIDE INFO: The following information comes to me from a guy who used to work for Columbia Gas. He claims to have gotten it from a current employee of that same company: "Columbia gas of Lawrence was repairing a high pressure gas line so they diverted all the gas into a low pressure line (for whatever dumb reason) and it was too much to handle. So far at least 26 houses have blown up and at least 2 people dead. They've evacuated 3 towns. Columbia gas is gonna lose their shirts in lawsuits. People are going to get fired and possibly see jail time.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.