UPDATE: One dead, ten injured.
WCVB has the latest on multiple explosions this afternoon.
By 5:45 p.m., there were so many explosions that the Lawrence Fire Department knew of at least a dozen houses on fire they had not even been able to get to, Kilonum reports.
The Andover Fire Department reports that a total of 35 fires erupted just in that town - at one point, 18 were burning at the same time.
Shortly after 6 p.m. State Police urged anybody living or working in the 51,000 homes and businesses served by Columbia Gas to leave immediately.
At 7:10 p.m., State Police reported that National Grid - which provides electricity but not gas in the area - would be shutting off power.
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) September 13, 2018
MSP Fusion Center has current updated tally of responses to fires/explosions/investigations of gas odor at 70. Spread over wide swath of south #Lawrence and northern part of #NorthAndover with several others across Merrimack River in north Lawrence. pic.twitter.com/a7kBYaWFrJ
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) September 13, 2018
Just today, Columbia Gas, which serves the Merrimack Valley, announced a major gas-main replacement project, including stretches in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.
The MBTA is stopping Haverhill Line trains in Woburn due to the explosions in Andover. Exits off I-495 into Lawrence are shut; State Police are letting people in Lawrence and Andover get onto 495 to evacuate.
Bursts of smoke from home explosions in the Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover areas showing up on radar pic.twitter.com/zqo3od6vcJ
— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) September 13, 2018
Shortly before 7 p.m., Boston Fire reported it was sending several companies of firefighters to the area. Boston Police will send several officers to help patrol the area overnight.