The multiple gas explosions in nearby Essex County on Thursday, Sept. 13, caused at least one death. According to Andover authorities, there was at least one firefighter who got injured fighting the infernos that broke out.
The deceased is reportedly an 18-year-old man. He died in Lawrence when a chimney landed on top of his car. Ten additional individuals were reportedly also injured in the blasts, according to the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).
The three communities of North Andover, Andover and Lawrence were all affected by the explosions and fires. The Fire Rescue Chief for Andover stated, “This has been an overwhelming event. I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career . . . It looked like Armageddon.”
Businesses, as well as residences, had to be evacuated due to the hazards. As of Thursday evening, there were approximately 18,000 without electrical power, and workers continued shutting off gas lines in the area.
Amtrak services from Boston and Maine on four routes were suspended and train passengers on three of the routes were shuttled to their destinations by bus.
Massachusetts officials have closed all state offices on Friday in North Andover, Andover and Lawrence. They request that all nonemergency personnel remain at home as well.
The cause of the disaster will be discovered in the coming days or weeks. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators arrived Friday to unravel the circumstances.
Workers affected by disasters such as this one should understand fully their rights to compensation for any on-the-job injuries.