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Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon died when his vehicle was crushed by a falling chimney, a spokesperson for the Essex County District Attorney's office said.

At least six people have been admitted to a hospital in Lawrence with fire-related injuries, including two in critical condition, according to reports.

More than 70 gas explosions sparked blazes across three communities as crews scrambled to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage.

"Incidents are across a wide swath of dozens of blocks across Lawrence and North Andover", state police said via Twitter.

The US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said it was sending a team to support the state's emergency response efforts.

"It was very scary", Williams told Reuters by telephone, describing smoke visible to her on the skyline.

The gas firm's parent company Indiana-based NiSource said its thoughts were with those affected by the incident.

Liberty Utilities spokesperson John Shore said the company has on-call technicians standing ready to help Columbia Gas.

While the cause of the terrifying explosions remains unclear, town officials in Andover are advising all residents and businesses to evacuate and to shut off their gas, if they know how to safely. These include St. Mary's Church in Lawrence, Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and the Lawrence Senior Center.

Nearly 40 fires and explosions erupt in Massachusetts
Dozens of explosions near Boston, multiple injuries and hundreds evacuated

The streets were darkened after nightfall as power was cut off to the area as a precaution. "What we need folks to do is that if it's happening in your home, you have a amusing smell, just evacuate, come out to the street", he said. "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated".

The Columbia Gas company, a unit of NiSource Inc, had said earlier Thursday that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions occurred, but it was not immediately clear whether any work was being done in those communities. "It was not clear whether work was happening there Thursday, and a spokeswoman did not immediately comment".

Massachusetts State Police say troopers are responding to the area to help secure areas after "multiple suspected gas explosions". The three communities, near the New Hampshire border, together have more than 146,000 residents.

The state police said some neighborhoods were evacuated because of gas odors. It said it was conducting safety checks and supporting first responders.

Aerial footage showed firefighters tackling blazes at several properties. At one, the upper portion of a brick chimney crushed an SUV parked in the driveway.

At least one person has been killed and many others injured after a series of reported gas explosions rocked towns north of Boston in MA. Lawrence City Councillor Marc Laplante said entire neighbourhoods were being evacuated in the Colonial Heights area, which he represents.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera reassured immigrants who might not be living in his city legally that they had nothing to fear. "We're going to get through this together".

There are no indications of foul play and local media reports suggest a possible rupture of a gas line is to blame with WBZ News reporting the first explosion was triggered by an overpressurised gas line. Consolidated Edison later agreed to pay $153 million to settle charges after the state's Public Service Commission found it had violated state safety regulations.

The danger, at this point, is mainly from any pent-up gas that leaked and remains in homes. Columbia Gas is working to shut off gas service, and we will re-evaluate from there.

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In addition to them, Juan Foyth (thigh) and Moussa Sissoko (hamstring) will also miss the Premier League fixture with Liverpool . He denied the forward needs a rest, adding: "We know that it's not a situation that worries us".