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Massachusetts :70 gas explosions hit Boston, Homes destroyed

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Boston, Sep 14: More than 70 gas explosions occurred simultaneously triggered by a natural gas pipeline rupture, rocked three communities and destroyed homes resulting in emergency evacuations in the US city of Boston. State police has received between 60 and 100 reports of structure fires and gas explosions in Lawrence, North Andover and Andover, spurring neighboring fire and police departments to send officers to help.

  • Dozens of explosions and fires are affecting four towns north of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Panicked neighborhoods evacuate for gas run homes in Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Merrimack River
  • Explosions caused by problem with a gas line
  • Columbia Gas, a unit of NiSource Inc, had announced for the upgradation of gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions occurred.

One person has died while many are injured as crews scrambled to douse the flames and shut off gas and electric lines to prevent further damage.

A scene of chaos is witnessed after a  natural gas leak fiasco sparked fires in at least 60 homes throughout northeast Massachusetts communities, killing a man, causing explosions, and creating widespread “Armageddon,” police and local officials said Thursday. Over 60  homes and other buildings have been demolished or engulfed in flames.

And hours later after an afternoon of fiery chaos turned into a night of eerie darkness with power shut off for thousands — officials were still unsure exactly what caused the blasts.

Eighteen-year-old Leonel Robson of Lawrence, Mass., was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital at 8:30 p.m. ET, after a chimney from a house explosion in Lawrence fell on the car he was in, the Essex County District Attorney’s office said.

His was the only fatality reported so far in the fires that broke out Thursday across a wide swath of Lawrence, as well as in the towns of Andover and North Andover.

Fire investigators suspected “over-pressurization of a gas main” belonging to Columbia Gas of Massachusetts led to the series of explosions and fires, Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield said at a news conference.

Columbia Gas, a unit of NiSource Inc, had announced for the upgradation of gas lines in neighborhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions occurred.

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Vietnam resumes int’l flights after 5 months

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Vietnam on Saturday resumed international flights after a five-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday morning, a Vietnam Airlines carrying 60 passengers on board took off for Tokyo from the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Most of the passengers are Vietnamese students and workers going back to Japan to continue studying and working.

The flight also carried a number of Japanese nationals, according to state-media.Passengers exiting Vietnam must have a certificate of negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test result issued within 72 hours before departure.

In September, Vietnam Airlines is expected to carry out three more flights to Japan, while the reverse route from Tokyo to Hnaoi will be arranged later.Vietnam suspended all international flights in late March.

The country has recorded 1,068 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths as of Saturday morning. No local transmission has been recorded nationwide in more than two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

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US judge declines to block Commerce Department WeChat order

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NEW YORK : A United States judge in California declined to block the Commerce Department order issued on Friday that will prohibit U.S. app stores from offering Tencent Holding’s WeChat for download starting late Sunday.

Judge Laurel Beeler said the request for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by U.S. WeChat users appeared moot after the Commerce order but said in an written order “the court is available today for a hearing on any emergency motions.” A lawyer for the WeChat users did not immediately comment.

Beeler issued a follow-up order that said lawyers for the WeChat users “will file something by 10:45 a.m. (PDT) about why the motion is not moot.” She tentatively sets a Zoom hearing for 11:00 a.m. (PDT)(1700 GMT).

The Justice Department said Friday in a court filing that Beeler should reject the request, saying President Donald Trump “has invoked his emergency powers to address (the WeChat) threat, and plaintiffs have articulated no legal basis for the Court to take the extraordinary step of enjoining his exercise of that authority.”

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Pakistan reports 752 new cases of coronavirus: Health Ministry

So far 3,090,660 tests have been done across the country, including 33,865 in the last 24 hours.

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Islamabad, Sep 18 : Pakistan has reported 752 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of infections to 304,386, the health ministry said on Friday.

The Ministry of National Health Services said nine more people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours due to which the toll stands at 6,408.

“The coronavirus cases continue to rise with the current figure standing at 304,386. The death toll also has touched 6,408,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said at least 579 were in critical conditions and it showed that 291,683 people have fully recovered so far, which meant that the number of active patients was 6,295.

Sindh reported 133,125 cases, Punjab 98,142, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 37,242, Islamabad 16,033, Balochistan 13,991, Gilgit-Baltistan 3,381 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 2,472 cases.

So far 3,090,660 tests have been done across the country, including 33,865 in the last 24 hours.

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