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Pipeline pressure before explosions was 12 times too high

Last Updated Sep 18, 2018 at 5:11 am PDT

A police officer stands in the doorway as residents stand in a block-long line outside a customer help center staffed by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in Lawrence, Mass., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Dozens of homes were destroyed or damaged, a teenager was killed and dozens of people were injured in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover following a failure last week in the area natural gas delivery service. Federal officials say their investigation is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Summary

The pressure in natural gas lines that exploded in Massachusetts was 12 times higher than it should have been: letter

BOSTON – The pressure in natural gas pipelines prior to a series of explosions and fires in Massachusetts last week was 12 times higher than it should have been.

The information was in a letter from the state’s U.S. senators to the heads of Columbia Gas, the company that serves the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey sent the letter Monday seeking answers to questions about the explosions.

The letter says that according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “the pressure in the system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch, but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI.”

The explosions and fires killed one person and injured more than two dozen.

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