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Thousands of people were allowed to return Sunday after a gas leak in Massachusetts that caused scores of house fires, one of which killed and 25 injured.
On Sunday morning, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and security officials gave the residents of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence the all-clear to return to their homes.
Nearly 8,600 affected gas meters had been shut down and about 15,000 power outages had been restored according to the authorities.
"It has been a difficult and exhausting weekend for the residents of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence, and I often say the people of Massachusetts are resilient and this devastating situation is no exception," said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at a Sunday morning press conference.
Baker said that at 6:30 ET, all the homes in the affected area of Gas had been cleaned, even though the City of Lawrence told residents not to return to their homes until 7am CET.
Public safety officials said the next steps in the recovery process would include assessing the damage to the low-pressure gas system and the technicians who would inspect all gas equipment.
"I would like to praise the teams of police officers, firefighters and service workers who have worked diligently to achieve this morning's goal of reopening all the homes in the city to residents," said Andover Town Manager Andrew P. Flanagan on Sunday in a statement.
Three separate explosions at 4:15 pm ET on Thursday caused 80 homes to be burned or damaged, according to officials.
"The explosions that occurred on Thursday night have caused heart failure for many families and the loss of a young life," Baker said Sunday.
Leonel Robson, 18, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was killed when a chimney from a home explosion in Lawrence fell on the car he was in, officials said.
The explosions and fires shook the officials at first. Baker said at the time that the state would work with the federal government to find out what happened and who should be held accountable.
On Saturday, federal investigators said that apparently nothing had been deliberately behind the explosions.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday it was planned to investigate how Columbia Massachusetts gas, whose pipelines triggered the explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Thursday, kept records and how its procedures worked, said Chairman of the Board Agency Robert Sumwalt.
They also want to look into recent complaints from utility customers, Sumwalt said.
When the residents returned to their homes, Columbia Gas called on people not to restart their gas.
"Now that most residents are back in their homes, our crews will be working to restore gas service, which could take weeks, DO NOT turn your gas back on," the company said twittered,
Schools in Andover and North Andover should be reopened on Monday. However in LawrenceOfficials were still working to see if reopening on Monday was possible.
At least a dozen families in Lawrence have been permanently displaced by Gasleck, according to a press release.
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said a relief fund for those affected by the gas leak has raised $ 100,000 on Sunday morning.
When the residents returned home, a fire alarm with three flames occurred in Lawrence, but it was later determined that the fire was not in the affected area and had nothing to do with the gas explosion.