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A Year After Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Wounds Are Raw And Questions Remain24:59
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Lucianny Rondon held a replica of a plaque marking the new Leonel A. Rondon Square in Lawrence, as she addressed reporters on the anniversary of her brother's death in a gas explosion. (Callum Borchers/WBUR)
Lucianny Rondon held a replica of a plaque marking the new Leonel A. Rondon Square in Lawrence, as she addressed reporters on the anniversary of her brother's death in a gas explosion. (Callum Borchers/WBUR)

A year ago Friday, gas lines pressurized 12 times higher than what they should have been exploded in the Merrimack Valley.

The explosions caused dozens of fires in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. They damaged or destroyed more than 130 buildings, and drove thousands of people to evacuate.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Rondon, sitting in a car in a friend's driveway, was hit by a falling chimney and died.

He'd just got his driver's license.

Officials and members of the community gathered in Lawrence Friday to dedicate a public square in his memory.

But questions remain about Columbia Gas' role in the recovery, federal pipeline safety, and the community's future economic health.

Guests

Rep. Lori Trahan, congresswoman for Massachusetts' 3rd District. She tweets @reploritrahan.

Callum Borchers, WBUR Bostonomix reporter. He tweets @callumborchers.

John Farrington, owner of Carleen's Coffee Shop in Lawrence

Elizabeth Bautista, owner of Delish Bakery and Cafe in Lawrence

This segment aired on September 13, 2019.

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