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Walsh on BPR

Walsh: Columbia Gas 'Has Not Done A Good Job' Explaining Cause Of Explosions

Marty Walsh
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Elise Amendola
Listen
Walsh on BPR

After a series of gas explosions in the Merrimack valley, Mayor Marty Walsh criticized the response from the gas company responsible for the local network.

“It’s pretty scary …the company has really not, in my opinion, done a good job of explaining what’s happened,” Walsh said during an interview with Boston Public Radio Friday. “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Gas explosions killed a teen, injured at least 20 others, and displaced neighborhoods of people in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

Columbia Gas, the utility that manages the natural gas network in that area, has promised to repair the damage — but has offered no public explanation into a possible cause.

At a press conference, Governor Charlie Baker described the company’s response as “adequate.”

Columbia Gas does not operate in the Boston area. In a statement, the utility says crews will visit each of the 8600 affected customers in the Merrimack Valley to conduct safety inspections.

Walsh said the explosions have caused concern in Boston, saying that “without a doubt” the city’s gas pipelines need to be updated and improved.

“I don’t know if it’s compromised to the point where we need to be afraid and talk to people about it, but there’s no question, there needs to be infrastructure built into this gas system,” Walsh said. “What happened yesterday is an eye-opener for everybody to say that we really have to look at these issues and take them seriously...No one’s ever seen this type of devastation.”

To hear Mayor Walsh’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio player above.

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