Updated Sep 14, 2018

Gas explosions ravage dozens of Massachusetts homes

Flames consuming a home in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photo via CBS Boston Youtube page

Firefighters have responded to at least 70 reported fires and explosions at homes caused by over-pressurized natural gas lines in three Massachusetts towns, according to state police, forcing neighborhoods to evacuate as first responders scramble to secure scenes and prevent further damage.

The big picture: The explosions underscore the inherent risks of relying on fuels that can be explosive, Axios' Amy Harder writes. This is likely to add to already intense opposition to natural gas across the U.S., particularly in New England. America has become increasingly reliant on the fuel over the last decade as fracking and other extraction techniques helped unlock new supplies.

The details: The AP reports that at least six people with fire-related injuries are being treated at nearby hospitals, but their conditions and severity of the injuries are unknown.

  • Photographs and videos from the scenes show houses bursting into flames with thick smoke. The AP also reports that the three communities house more than 146,000 residents.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the increase in affected homes.

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Timeline: The India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The deadly protests during President Trump's visit to India between Muslims and Hindus flared over a new citizenship law, which critics say is anti-Muslim, are the latest clash between adherents of the two religions.

The big picture: Predominantly Hindu India officially removed special privileges in August for its only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir region, exacerbating tensions with Pakistan. The dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, which lies between India and Pakistan and is partially controlled by both countries, dates back seven decades. It has sparked three wars and sporadic threats of nuclear conflict. India is now attempting to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Pakistan to warn of “impending genocide.”

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Coronavirus spreads to new countries, while U.S. confirms 57 cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — an increase they had expected after the passengers were allowed to return home from Japan against their initial advice.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There's only been two cases of person-to-person infections in the U.S. so far, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now warning that Americans should prepare for a much broader outbreak here.

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