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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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.