Utility in gas disaster completes next phase of restoration

Massachusetts

FILE – In this Sept. 13, 2018 file image from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume the roof of a home following an explosion in Lawrence, Mass. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent, NiSource Inc., announced Monday, July 29, 2019, a settlement had been reached in class action lawsuits resulting from the disaster across several towns north of Boston. (WCVB via AP, File)

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The utility involved in a series of natural gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts nearly a year ago says it has mostly completed the second phase of restoration.

Columbia Gas said Thursday that some 875 customers that had heating equipment repaired rather than fully replaced following the Sept. 13 disaster now have brand new equipment.

The company says it has also substantially completed repairs to outdoor areas that were affected by the reconstruction of gas lines in the region.

Federal investigators say the explosions and fires were triggered by over-pressurized gas lines. A teenager died, dozens of other people were injured, and more than 100 structures were damaged.

Columbia Gas says in all it has replaced nearly 18,500 appliances and pieces of equipment since the incident.

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