Lawrence Mayor Rivera Wants Columbia Gas Out of Massachusetts

First responders and media gathered in Lawrence in the wake of gas-related fires across the Merrimack Valley Sept. 13, 2018. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Lawrence officials and residents are still speaking out against Columbia Gas in the wake of the September 13 gas-related fires and explosions. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera Monday urged state officials to pull Columbia Gas out of Massachusetts in the wake of the September gas-related fire disaster that left a Lawrence teen dead and 28 others injured.

During a Senate hearing in his home city, Rivera condemned the actions of Columbia Gas, arguing the company’s delayed actions and failure to alert Lawrence, Andover and North Andover residents about a restoration timeline led to a worsening of the situation.

“In this one incident, Columbia Gas has showed they could not provide the service they promised everyone,” the mayor seethed. As a result of the “failure,” Rivera demanded the state remove Columbia Gas as a service provider.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Maggie Hassan supported Rivera at Monday’s hearing, which came as nearly 1,200 families remain in temporary housing as a result of the disaster.

Also, during Monday’s hearing, Lucianny Rondon, the sister of victim Leonel Rondon, spoke out in her brother’s memory, begging officials to take action to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“Nobody should ever go through what my family has gone through ever again,” Lucianny said.