LAWRENCE (WBZ-AM) - - Steve Bryant, the president of Columbia Gas, announced the opening of a claims hotline in a press conference Thursday afternoon. Bryant said the utility had worked with the city of Lawrence to set up the claims center.
"Our focus today and in the coming days is to support the Merrimack Valley and ensure the safety of the communities that we serve," he said. Bryant said the company had shut off service to 3,230 customers as of Friday afternoon, with electricity restoration slated to begin Friday evening.
The president of Columbia Gas says "We're sorry" and says the company is opening a claims center at the Lawrence Public Library and has developed a claims hotline +1-800-590-5571. He says Federal authorities will investigate the cause of the explosions and fires. pic.twitter.com/aQHpY7eaiv— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) September 14, 2018
"The citizens of the Merrimack Valley are truly hurting and our hearts go out to the citizens and members of the community," Bryant said, before addressing the casualty of a Lawrence teenager. "We offer our sincere and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Leonel Rondon."
Rondon died Thursday night when the gas explosions caused the debris of a chimney to fall on his car. The 18-year-old had just received his license that same day.