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Columbia Gas Completes Next Phase Of Restoration In Merrimack Valley Explosions

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

by CBS Boston (Ch4)

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.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera released a statement that said Lawrence’s Health and Human Services Division would be checking up on those affected by Phase 2. Rivera also called for Columbia Gas to lose its license. “It’s the only way I feel we can ensure the whole system statewide is safe,” he said on Facebook.

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.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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