Overpressurization of Natural Gas Distribution System, Explosions, and Fires in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts

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Excerpt from the National Safety Board

Executive Summary

On September 13, 2018, about 4:00 p.m. local time, a series of structure fires and explosions occurred after high-pressure natural gas was released into a low-pressure natural gas distribution system in the northeast region of the Merrimack Valley in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The natural gas distribution system was owned and operated by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a subsidiary of NiSource, Inc. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts delivers natural gas to about 325,000 customers in Massachusetts. One person was killed and 22 individuals, including three firefighters, were transported to local hospitals due to injuries; seven other firefighters incurred minor injuries.

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