3 Communities in Massachusetts Reach Settlement with Columbia Gas After Massive Explosion

Affected communities of the September gas explosion have reached settlement over damages associated with the incident.

Residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover are requesting for an overhaul of the gas system as well as road restoration after the incident damages the three towns.

Photo Credit: www.insurancejournal.com

It is reported by the Insurance Journal that the initial cost of the 43 miles pipeline replacement is $370 million. More than this, there are also victims who want compensation for damages in their home, family, investments and even for the lives that were taken. In the time being, the company Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource Inc. is already facing financial costs of $1.6 billion but this could still increase.

According to news, what triggered the explosion is the over-pressurization of the natural gas pipeline, leading to the disaster.

Meanwhile, there are a total of 8,600 customers affected by the September 13 incident.

Gov. Charlie Baker has been pushing the towns to settle with the companies. Although the exact content and terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, the governor said it will amount to all property damages.

Increasing Fire and Explosion Incidents Linked to Natural Gas

In 2018, there has been a total of 19 fire and explosion disasters involving natural gas. This information is published by Reuters but data is from the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Over the 20 years, the agency has recorded 646 accidents, killing more than 221 people in the process. Injuries reached the ceiling with over 967 people accumulating burns and other damages.

The average incident for every three years is 25 while for five years, 23 incidents are happening.

Natural gas has been used by the Americans to cater to their needs especially during winter. Some homes are equipped with an electrical heating system but most households rely on natural gas.