Gas company linked to explosions in Massachusetts, West Virginia, Ohio

Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the blast

Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the blast

Residents of three areas hit by a series of fires and gas explosions north of Boston in MA have started to return home, officials say.

WCVB-TV reports the situation appeared to be contained by 11:15 a.m.

He said investigators will be working to develop a timeline, including how local utility officials reacted to the pressure increase.

Baker's selection of the New England utility was a rebuke to NiSource Inc., which owns the pipeline system that erupted and was criticized by Baker for an inadequate response to the Thursday blasts. "So I just want to say the more of that can continue, trust us, we will do right by that money and by your support", Rivera said. He died at a hospital, authorities said.

Columbia Gas is inspecting 8,600 houses connected to its network.

NiSource lost 12 percent of its value on Friday for the deepest collapse in 16 years. Baker said New England-based Eversource would replace Columbia Gas of MA. The violations included inadequate gas standards, improper pressure testing and failing to follow procedures and federal pipeline safety regulations.

Officials said that between 60 and 80 fires and a number of explosions broke out in homes and businesses in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. Massachusetts State Police reported 39 incidents.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera was also present.

A Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation natural gas pipeline burst in West Virginia in 2012 and NTSB investigators determined that external corrosion, which could have been discovered by the pipeline operator, was at fault. The inquiry will look at the design of the pipeline, any recent maintenance or upgrades, and the integrity of the management system, he said.

Leonel Rondon, 18, was killed after a chimney that had been blown off a home in one of the explosions struck a vehicle in Lawrence, CNN affiliate WHDH reported. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

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