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Cause of September gas explosions determined

According to federal investigators, the trigger for the series of deadly gas explosions in and around Lawrence last month was Columbia Gas of Massachusetts' failure to move from an abandoned pipe an underground pressure sensor while construction work was taking place in Lawrence.

As a result, the gas flowed into the local network. Explosions and fires rocked towns all over the Merrimack Valley. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the utility didn't inform the construction crew about the need to either move or detach the pressure sensor. As a result, the sensor detected decreased pressure in the abandoned line. It sent a signal to the control station to flood the system with dangerously high levels of gas.

That caused the subsequent explosions and fires that damaged 125 residences and businesses and five homes explosions in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence. There was one death due to a collapsed chimney and two dozen injured.

Also mentioned in the report were concerns about safety protocols when gas pipelines are repaired and replaced. Industry analysts questioned whether contractors or inspectors should have been proactive about checking the sensors.

Whether you are a Boston worker injured in a mass casualty incident like last month's explosion or simply get hurt routinely on your job site, if you are carrying out your job duties when your injury occurred, in most cases, you can file for and receive workers' compensation benefits.

To make the most out of any potential claim for benefits, it's advisable to learn all that you can about your rights and responsibilities under Massachusetts law.

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