AP NEWS

Federal probe into gas explosions on hold due to shutdown

January 5, 2019

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board investigation into gas explosions that rocked Massachusetts in September is on hold because of the federal government shutdown.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey says the probe has stalled due to a funding lapse for transportation and housing agencies.

Markey says NTSB needs the resources to “complete its investigation and compile a comprehensive account of the safety lapses” that led to the disaster. He says residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover have already waited too long for answers.

A teen was killed, two dozen people injured and more than 100 homes and businesses engulfed in flames due to a series of explosions blamed on Columbia Gas, which let too much pressure build up in gas lines.

It remained unclear Saturday when the shutdown might end.

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