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NiSource Faces Criminal Probe in Massachusetts Gas Blasts

  • Company disclosed it received subpoenas and is cooperating
  • Sept. 13 blasts damaged 131 structures and killed one person
A home damaged by an explosion stands on Chickering Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts on Sept. 14, 2018.
A home damaged by an explosion stands on Chickering Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts on Sept. 14, 2018.Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg
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NiSource Inc. disclosed that federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation in connection with a series of explosions on its natural gas network that rocked several towns north of Boston in September.

The Sept. 13 blasts erupted in the towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, damaging 131 homes and buildings and killing one person. A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that crews contracted by NiSource’s Columbia Gas of Massachusetts unit were replacing a cast-iron distribution main when the workers removed a section of pipe containing pressure sensors, leading gas to surge into the pipes beyond maximum levels.