Salem Becomes Staging Area For Mass. Gas Explosion Cleanup

Sep 28, 2018

Columbia Gas workers check piping in a house in Andover, Mass., on Sept. 14.
Credit Winslow Townson / AP

A development site in Salem has become the base of operations for crews replacing pipelines after the explosions in Massachusetts.

Joe Faro, the CEO of Tuscan Brands, has temporarily donated 60 acres of the Tuscan Village site to make way for equipment and work tents.

He says around 2,500 Columbia Gas crew members are staying in regional hotels and coming to the site on a daily basis.

Faro says Columbia Gas is basing its operations at Tuscan Village beacuse it is the closest parcel of available land to the site of the explosions. Tuscan Village is a 170-acre multi-use development site in early contruction. 

After deadly explosions earlier this month, thousands of families in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, Mass., still don't have gas or heat.

Columbia Gas says it is trying to replace around 48 miles of pipes as fast as possible.

Faro says it is the biggest, most expensive, and most efficient operation he's ever seen.

"It involves everything from new piping to new appliances," he says, "and if you think about 9,000 homes, that's an unbelievable task in less than two months."