Sep 15, 2018

State of emergency declared in Massachusetts after gas explosions

Firefighters in Massachusetts hosing a home. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency two days after fires and explosions caused by over-pressurized natural gas lines ravaged dozens of homes throughout Lawrence, Andover and North Andover and forced evacuations of thousands of residents.

The latest: A new leak was detected Saturday morning in Lawrence as emergency crews swept the area. CBS reports that a teenager was killed and about 25 were injured from Thursday's explosions.

Columbia Gas, the company managing the pipe system and serves nearly 300,000 customers, encouraged people not to enter their homes without a representative from the company.

The problem: The pipe system in the surrounding area is one of the "oldest and leakiest" in the nation, USA Today reports. Columbia Gas has 471 miles of cast-iron and wrought-iron distribution lines connecting throughout the area.

  • Government officials have encouraged utility companies to replace old pipe lines made of those materials for decades — some were installed "more than 50 years ago."

The company has said it planned on replacing 500 miles of the pipeline, but estimated it would take until 2033. Each mile of pipeline could cost $1 million to replace.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.