Costs Of Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Continues To Soar

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A home damaged in the Merrimack Valley natural gas disaster. (Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (AP) — The utility blamed for the natural gas explosions in Massachusetts last September now says the potential financial costs of the disaster have jumped to more than $1.6 billion, and could go higher.

The Boston Globe reports that NiSource Inc., the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, said in a quarterly report to investors Wednesday that the costs include $1 billion alone for incident-related damages.

That figure does not account for potential penalties and fines as well as the lawsuits, including one brought by the family of the teenager killed.

The company spent another $370 million on the response $250 million to replace 43 miles of underground pipeline.

The disaster was triggered by over-pressurization in a natural gas pipeline and affected the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

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