Merrimack Valley Marks Three Years Since Devastating Explosions

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LAWRENCE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) - Monday was the three year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas disaster, when explosions ripped through Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, killing one person.

A vigil for the victim was held Monday evening in Lawrence. The city joined the family of Leonel A. Rondon and the public at an intersection that's named for the young man who lost his life, near the corner of Chestnut and Jackson Streets. The Lawrence Fire Department also received The Leonel Rondon Memorial Award and a donation to help prevent future explosions and fires.

Eighteen-year-old Rondon was killed when a home on Chickering road exploded, and the chimney crushed his vehicle.

On the Afternoon of September 13th, 2018, firefighters from several towns came together, putting out fire after fire as the extent and nature of the natural gas explosions became clear. Then-Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and several local and national politicians pushed for Columbia Gas to be held responsible. The company eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges, coming to terms with a $143 million settlement and a $53 million dollar fine.

WBZ's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports:

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