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Gas-related explosions set fire to homes near Boston

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At least one person has been killed and others injured after a series of suspected gas explosions rocked towns north of Boston in Massachusetts on Thursday evening.

Local police reported “fires and explosions” at dozens of properties.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated, with gas and electricity services cut to try and prevent further incidents.

A local fire chief described it as an “overwhelming event” that resembled “Armageddon”.

“I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career,” Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mansfield said.

Officials have 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 that are located approximately 30 miles (45km) north of Boston.

Witness accounts suggest the incidents began at about 16:30 local time (20:30 GMT).

Mr. Mansfield said investigators suspected the fires were caused by “over-pressurisation of a gas main” belonging to Columbia Gas lines.

The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, described it as a “public safety event” in the early hours of Friday, but said officials were now “confident” there would be no further fires.

SourceBBC News

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