Communities celebrate resiliency after gas explosions

Merrimack Valley communities have celebrated their resiliency following last year's devastating natural gas explosions and fires.

 In this Sept. 13, 2018 file image taken from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume a home of Lawrence, Mass. police officer Ivan Soto in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston. Officials announced that most have been connected back to their service following the fires, explosions and loss of their main heating utility, but there are many issues which still need to be solved.
In this Sept. 13, 2018 file image taken from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume a home of Lawrence, Mass. police officer Ivan Soto in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston. –WCVB via The Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Merrimack Valley communities have celebrated their resiliency following last year’s devastating natural gas explosions and fires.

Residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover gathered for a community spirit event at Stadium Plaza in Lawrence on Saturday. Lawrence High School’s Dance Company performed and local youths sang songs in English and Spanish. Organizers also showcased a documentary created by recent Lawrence High School graduates about the Sept. 13, 2018 disaster.

The celebration came a day after the one year anniversary of the incident, which injured two dozen and left thousands of homes and businesses without natural gas service for weeks.

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On Friday, officials in Lawrence dedicated an intersection in honor of 18-year-old Leonel Rondon, the only person to die in the disaster, which was caused by over-pressurization in a gas pipeline.