BOSTON (CBS) – A Senate committee will hold a hearing in the Merrimack Valley on the Sept. 13 gas explosions, Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren announced Friday.

Over-pressurized Columbia Gas lines caused more than 80 explosions in homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The explosions and fires displaced thousands. Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon died when a blast brought a chimney down onto his car.

An aerial view of the fires in Lawrence after a gas line explosion, Sept. 13, 2018. (WBZ-TV)

Warren and Markey said they have a commitment from leadership on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to hold a hearing. They say the hearing will be held sometime in the coming weeks at a location yet to be determined.

The senators sent a letter to Columbia Gas and parent company NiSource earlier this month, demanding answers on the pressure spike and the company’s response.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Friday a $1 million emergency fund for area businesses. The lack of gas has forced many to shut down until restoration is complete.


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