Methuen Police Captain Randy Haggar called in to give us an update on the gas explosions happening in the Merrimack Valley

September 14, 2018

Methuen Police Captain Randy Haggar called in to give us an update on what people can expect if they were directly affected by the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions....


Here's what we know: 

• An 18-year-old man died. At least 25 people injured
• 60-80 fires and 3 explosions, according to MEMA
• The issue is related to a high pressure gas main, possibly over-pressurized
• An estimated 8,600 gas meters in that region, served by Columbia Gas, were affected; multi-unit homes have multiple gas meters
• Emergency crews going door-to-door to turn off gas at each home
• The restoration process is expected to take several days or longer
• Nearly 18,000 National Grid customers are without power in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover
• Lawrence, Andover and North Andover leaders say there is no timeline on when residents can return
• All roads into Lawrence are closed until further notice
• All residents of South Lawrence, regardless of utility provider, were asked to evacuate
• Power shut off to South Lawrence, parts of Andover and North Andover. This includes traffic lights
• 38 fires extinguished in Andover alone, with 17 additional gas leaks
• 29 homes impacted in North Andover
• “It looked like Armageddon,” said Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield
• 10-alarm fire response in all 3 communities
• Firefighters and police from across eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire responded
• Red Cross reception centers: Andover Senior Center and Youth Center, North Andover High School, Parthum and Arlington Schools in Lawrence, Central Catholic and St. Mary’s Church in Lawrence
• Residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover can call 211 for information
• Commuter Rail service on the Haverhill line suspended beyond North Wilmington
• All off ramps from I-495 between Exits 42-45 were closed; on ramps remained open
• No school in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Friday, including Catholic schools
• State offices in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover are closed Friday
• Merrimack College without power, but students are in dorms
• Lawrence courts closed Friday
• Department of Pipeline Safety and NTSB involved in investigation from federal level
• NTSB says it’s involved because pipelines are a mode of transportation