There have been 60 to 100 gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, Massachusetts. Here’s a local news outlet updating regularly. Some of the fires have been put out as I write, but check for the latest. There is no information on what went wrong. Here’s a map of the explosions and fires. Electricity is being cut off to the area to prevent more explosions.
I didn’t want to say this, but a number of other people are saying it and implying it. This many gas explosions at one time is unusual. So the question arises of a cyberattack.
^^^ UPDATE: >> pic.twitter.com/uaMbyXHSvt
— JΞSŦΞR ✪ ΔCŦUΔL³³º¹ (@th3j35t3r) September 14, 2018
A pressure surge in an old gas system could cause something like this. The question is how the surge originated. I don’t know enough about how the gas distribution system works to guess at accidental surges. The Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s uranium enrichment facility worked by messing with the system’s controls to speed up the centrifuges to their breaking point. The control system can do many things, including allowing the pressure to increase in a gas system.
This is just guessing right now. It’s too soon to know anything, and the authorities have said nothing about the cause. So stay frosty.
I checked in with front-pager Tom Levenson on Twitter, and he’s some distance from the explosions. We need to hear from Anne Laurie, and others in the area too.