Several attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit against Columbia Gas on behalf of people displaced by last week’s explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

The attorneys say the company was negligent in not properly maintaining its century-old cast iron pipes.

They also blame government agencies for improper oversight.

Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said his firm will conduct its own investigation into what caused the blasts.

Utility company Columbia Gas says it will replace 48 miles of gas pipeline in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence.

The company says the effort — speeding up a modernization program that was already underway — is the best way to make sure the system is safe before gas is turned back on.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno in February 2018.
Dave Roback / The Republican /

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts, has offered help to the mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts, after a series of natural gas explosions and fires there, and in Andover and North Andover.

Gov. Baker Declares State Of Emergency After Gas Explosions Rock 3 Mass. Communities

Sep 14, 2018

Thousands of people were still waiting to go home Friday after a series of gas explosions ignited fires in parts of Lawrence, North Andover and Andover Thursday evening.

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET on Friday

Federal authorities have opened an investigation into a series of explosions that set off fires in several small towns in Massachusetts on Thursday night, killing one person and injuring several others.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday that it is sending a team to investigate "what certainly appears to be multiple explosions involving a natural gas pipeline."

The Worcester City Council on Wednesday approved a $100.8 million stadium financing package to bring the Red Sox’s top farm team to central Massachusetts in a record-setting deal for a minor-league franchise.

A plan to move the club from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to Worcester in 2021 still needs authorizations from the AAA International League — where the team competes — Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. But an ownership group led by former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino has now cleared the highest hurdle in a three-year effort to find a new home.

This summer, the Trump administration transferred nearly $10 million away from the agency that responds to disasters and emergencies, redirecting it toward one of President Trump's top priorities — the deportation of undocumented residents of the U.S.

The funds transfer is prompting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut back on training, IT security and infrastructure investments, according to a document sent to Congress and released by Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

When a boat needs to pass under a low bridge on a river, that bridge needs to move out of the way. A drawbridge lifts up so a boat can pass under. A swing bridge pivots out of the way so a boat can pass by. But these decades-old bridges don’t operate on their own. They rely on a small group of “bridge tenders” who specialize in a peculiar and slow-moving job.

Worcester’s proposed new stadium for the Red Sox’s top farm team would be the most expensive minor league ballpark ever built, and most of the bill would be charged to taxpayers’ collective credit card. The city plans to take on as much as $100.8 million in bond debt.

A view of State House Square in Hartford, Connecticut.
Heather Brandon / NEPR

When I talk to people about Hartford's ongoing redesign, I often hear disbelief and dismissiveness. Not from residents who live in Hartford, especially young people invested in the fabric of the city, but from the ones on the periphery -- people in the city's inner-ring suburbs.