Multiple explosions set ablaze 23 buildings in US: one dead
Washington: One person was killed after a series of suspected gas explosions and subsequent fires rocked nearly 40 homes and businesses in three US towns, authorities said.
The authorities said that an issue with gas service may have prompted several explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover late Thursday afternoon, leaving at least 10 people injured.
The fires stretched across dozens of blocks, Massachusetts State Police said.
Not all gas had been shut off by Thursday evening and some of the lines were over-pressurised, officials said.
"This has been an overwhelming event," Andover Fire Rescue Chief Michael B. Mansfield told reporters.
"I have been in the fire service for almost 39 years and I have never seen anything like this in my entire career," he said.
There was no immediate information available about the extent of the damage.
Firefighters put out 35 fires in Andover, town officials said. The cities are north of Boston.
Officials shut down power in the three town because of the emergency, state police said on Thursday evening. About 18,000 customers were without power.
Massachusetts state police said at least 23 explosions and subsequent fires had occurred at a number of different addresses, although local media reported that more blasts had taken place in nearby areas.
"We urge residents if they are smelling gas to get out of the house and contact 911. We will get units out there," said an official.