WCVB: Gov. Baker declares state of emergency following gas fires, puts Eversource in charge of recovery

PROVIDENCE – Following the gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency and replaced the oversight of the recovery effort from Columbia Gas, the utility responsible for the lines involved in the explosions and fires, to Eversource Energy, WCVB reported Friday.

Officials blamed Columbia Gas for a lack of communication and an inefficient response.

“Eversource will be in charge of this project from this point forward,” Baker said. “We believe that will make a big difference in what gets told to us and what actually happens.”

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera accused the company of hiding from the problem.

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More than 8,000 residents were evacuated following the gas leaks, fires and explosions. One 18-year-old resident was killed due to the destruction and several others were injured.