2 Andover residents suffered serious injuries in homes without power following the gas emergency, police say

A 55-year-old woman remained in critical condition Tuesday evening.

Lawrence, MA--9/13/2018-- Workers stage at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in Lawrence. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)Topic: Reporter:
Workers stage at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in Lawrence on Thursday. –Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

Two Andover residents were seriously injured in apparent falls in homes without power following last Thursday’s gas emergency in the Merrimack Valley, town and emergency personnel said in a statement Tuesday evening.

On Sunday afternoon, emergency personnel responded to a Shawsheen Road residence for a report of an unresponsive woman with head trauma, according to authorities.

The woman’s housemate told the arriving rescuers that he had been away since Thursday and had tried—unsuccessfully—to reach the woman numerous times by phone.

“When he arrived home he found her in bed with a serious head wound,” the statement said. “She was unresponsive.”


The 55-year-old woman was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and eventually transported by medical helicopter to a Boston hospital, authorities said. She remained in critical condition Tuesday evening.

Authorities believe she fell down a flight of stairs and hit her head.

“A still lit flashlight was found at the bottom of the stairs where the fall apparently occurred,” the statement said. “The residence did not have electricity because of the ongoing gas incident at the time. It is believed that she fell sometime during the previous night and found her way back to her bedroom and lost consciousness.”

Andover and state police were investigating the incident.

On Saturday morning, emergency personnel responded to a medical-alert alarm at a Railroad Street residence. There, arriving rescuers found that an 88-year-old man had fallen during the night in his bathroom.

“The victim sustained serious head and face trauma and was transported to Lawrence General Hospital,” the statement said. “Andover Public Safety officials are unaware of his condition at this time.”

Emergency personnel in Andover treated 20 patients with a variety of injuries late Thursday afternoon into the night, according to authorities. Fourteen of those patients were taken to hospitals, and all were expected to recover.


In neighboring Lawrence, 18-year-old Leonel Rondon was killed during the gas emergency when a chimney from an exploding house landed on a car he was sitting in on Chickering Road, the Essex District Attorney’s office said. Roughly 60 to 80 gas-related fires broke out in Andover, Lawrence, and North Andover on Thursday.


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