Federal agency to discuss findings in natural gas disaster

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Federal officials are discussing their findings from a yearlong investigation into last September’s natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley …

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Federal officials are discussing their findings from a yearlong investigation into last September’s natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts.

The National Transportation Safety Board meets in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to discuss and vote on its final report about the Sept. 13, 2018, incident. A teenager died, dozens of other people were injured and more than 100 structures were damaged in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

The board, which oversees pipeline safety, said in an October 2018 preliminary report that the incident appeared to have been triggered by gas lines that became over-pressurized during a pipeline replacement project. It said Columbia Gas of Massachusetts workers also failed to adequately design and plan the project.

Columbia Gas’ parent company NiSource says it has spent about $1 billion responding to the disaster.

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