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Dozens of homes evacuated after gas line leak in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) – More than 50 homes in Lawrence were evacuated Monday afternoon after a private contractor ruptured a low-pressure gas line.

A contractor struck a low-pressure gas line on Florence Avenue at 12:30 p.m., prompting officials to evacuate residents from 53 homes, according to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera.

Crews from Columbia Gas are working to fix the line, which could take between six to 12 hours, a spokesman said.

“I have no heat, I have no gas,” resident Laura Cortez said from her porch. “Luckily we do have light. But, I was actually going to cook and I turned on the oven and it wasn’t turning on.”

Utility employees are also going door to door to relight appliances.

“We’re working to make sure the system is safe,” said Columbia Gas spokeswoman Kelly Merritt. “We had appropriately marked [gas] lines correctly and the contractor didn’t follow protocol.”

Rivera said a shelter has been opened up at the Arlington School at 153 Arlington St. and that the incident is “not related to the ongoing Columbia Gas issues.”

People were allowed back into their homes by 6 p.m., with repairs expected to be finished by midnight.

No one was hurt though many say they were inconvenienced.

“I think it’s the contractors that should be more careful and making sure they’re doing the right things,” resident Mary-Ellen McCallister said.


from Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News
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