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Gas explosions ravage dozens of Massachusetts homes

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