The parent company of a Massachusetts gas utility that has come under scrutiny after a spate of fires and explosions killed a person earlier this week has been linked to at least three prior gas line incidents, according to USA Today. Citing federal and state records as well as court filings, the report says Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a subsidiary of NiSource, was involved in a service line explosion in Springfield in 2012 that left 21 people injured. NiSource said at the time that the blast happened while Columbia Gas was investigating “the source of an odor of gas.” That same year, another gas pipeline controlled by a subsidiary of NiSource exploded in West Virginia, an incident that the National Transportation Safety Board ultimately blamed on external corrosion of the pipe wall. The corrosion reportedly went unnoticed because no inspections had been done recently. An “improperly abandoned” service line controlled by another NiSource subsidiary was blamed for yet another blast in Ohio in 2015. The new details come as local authorities in the Massachusetts communities affected by the recent blasts accuse Columbia Gas of failing to provide answers on what went wrong. Dan Rivera, the mayor of Lawrence, where an 18-year-old man was killed Thursday, accused the gas company of “hiding from the problem” on Friday.
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