Feds blame gas com­pany for deadly Mass. ex­plo­sions

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Milwaukee Wisconsin -

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing the deadly nat­u­ral gas ex­plo­sions that rocked three north­ern Mas­sachusetts towns last month are blam­ing faulty work or­ders from the lo­cal util­ity.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tors say Columbia Gas failed to in­struct the work­ers to de­ac­ti­vate pres­sure sen­sors when tak­ing an old cast-iron gas main out of ser­vice. When those sen­sors de­tected a drop in gas pres­sure in the de­com­mis­sioned main on Sept.13, the sys­tem au­to­mat­i­cally in­creased the pres­sure in the new, plas­tic gas main.

Within min­utes, houses across Lawrence, An­dover and North An­dover be­gan to ex­plode from a buildup of nat­u­ral gas.

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