L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

More skeletal remains found as San Bruno officials struggle to tally the dead

Michelle Sherwin comforts her daughter, Jessica, at the town hall meeting. They have not been allowed to return to their home since Thursday's explosion.

Some residents are expected to be allowed to return to their homes in San Bruno as officials struggled to get a firm handle on the number of those killed in Thursday's gas pipeline explosion.

On Saturday night, the San Bruno Police Department said seven people had been killed in the blast. But on Sunday morning, a city spokesman, Bill Chiang, said four people are confirmed dead but that  additional skeletal remains have been found.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault announced that additional remains had been found in the blast zone and that county coroner's employees were in the process of conducting forensic tests on them.

While some residents will be allowed to return, San Bruno city officials cautioned that those with homes in areas most devastated by the explosion of a natural gas line would not be allowed back in on Sunday. 

Residents were asked to meet at a local college and register so that they can be allowed to return to their homes. Officials said a representative of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. would be available at each home to turn the gas back on.

Christopher Hart, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said a 28-foot section of pipe was propelled about 100 feet from a crater that is 167 feet long and 26 feet deep. Investigators could not measure the depth, he said, because the bottom was unstable. 

The NTSB is the lead agency on an investigation that will also include PG&E, which owns and operates the 30-inch-diameter pipeline; the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; and the California Public Utilities Commission.  

Hart said the investigation will consider whether automatic shutoff values should be required on transmission pipelines that run through residential areas.

"That is one of the questions that we'll be looking at," he said. Hart said the valves on either side of the explosion were manual.

-- Paloma Esquivel in San Bruno, Calif.

FULL COVERAGE

Photo: Michelle Sherwin comforts her daughter, Jessica, at the town hall meeting. They have not been allowed to return to their home since Thursday's explosion. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times 

 
Comments () | Archives (34)

Skeletal remains?!

You're alleging that there was nothing but piles of bones? No organs, no flesh, no hair, no shreds of clothing??

26 feet deep --> 26 feet wide

Proably because the remains were so badly burned.

Anna,

The flames and heat were so intense that the victims were basically cremated, and all that's left are bones.

You know, it's pretty amazing that in a state as overly regulated as California ( to the point of paralysis) that this could happen. What are we paying all these 'inspectors' for?

Anna R, the fires burned so hot that there is probably not much else.

At the explosion area, it's estimated to have been over 1200 degrees which is hotter than a human cremation furnace, which is only 900 degrees.

Inspectors are paid to ignore those that can afford to make them.

"...will consider whether automatic shutoff values should be required on transmission pipelines that run through residential areas."
Oh yeah, big question. Really the question goes like this - how much does this disaster cost PG&E, how often can they expect this to happen, and will automatic shutoff valves work and cost less to install than just paying for disasters?

My heart goes out to the people who lost loved ones in the San Bruno disaster, as well as the people who lost their life-long investment in homes destroyed.
But I have some questions. If I buy a car or a fridge or a computer or almost anything else, the life expectancy of these products is measured in months, not years.
The natural gas pipeline in San Bruno was installed back in the 50s - almost 60 years ago! According to our rules of built-in obsolescence, this pipeline should have been replaced in the 1960s. It wasn't and therefor became a disaster waiting to happen. AND THE DISASTER DID HAPPEN!
PG&E has a nefarious reputation of fixing problems after they occur. PG&E and public oversight is NON-EXISTANT!
CALIFORNIANS - GET UP OFF YOU ASS! Is your home sitting on a 60 year old natural gas pipeline? I think mine is. My home is over 50 years old, and to my knowledge no-one has ever checked it out. Am I sitting on the next SAN BRUNO DEBACLE? Could very well be, but no-one knows and no-one cares!
PG&E would have us believe that natural gas is clean and safe. It may be clean, but it is not safe when the delivery system is 60 years old and worn out - ask those residents of San Bruno who lost loved ones and homes. Its time PG&E needs to be held accountable.

PG&E DESERVE TO BE SUED FOR EVERY CENT THEY HAVE.

My condolences to San Bruno....

We lived over a gas line for 20 years in Moreno Valley
Installed forever ago....
After we found out about it it was always in the back of my mind....

I feel like we dodged a bullet

PG&E will get sued and they will pass the cost onto the consumers with a rate hike.

Anna... for those of us who have seen the area with our own eyes, or who have been relayed the information by those who have had to deal with these, they were lucky to have even found bone fragments.

A 1200 degree fire burns hotter than an incinerator for the cremation of bodies, or something like that. It's one of the most devastating things I've had to experience in my young life.

Also: For those looking for information on the Bullis', I regretfully inform that the three members are deceased. William, the 17 year old son, was a friend of mine... I am immensely sad at this discovery.

People -- citizens -- have to request Big Brother's permission to return to real property which they [ostensibly] own that was damaged through no fault of their own...

Land of the free? Nope.

Home of the brave? Not in most cases...

Godspeed to all who lost everything in this disaster.

I think skeletal remains is that's left after a 3000 degree inferno. (duh)

These folks need to secure attorney representation. I think that PG&E is liable here, and they longer they do not, the more evidence will get lost.

These folks need to secure attorney representation. I think that PG&E is liable here, and they longer they do not, the more evidence will get lost.

My heart and prayers goes out to the victims of those who lost their loved ones. God bless you and may the lord keep you strong during these difficult times. Don't give up, and start to rebuilt that which was lost, but know that your your loved ones will always be in your hearts and their memories will never be forgotten.

News reports said someone had phoned in a gas leak a week earlier at the site of this horribly preventable tradgedy.If this is true the CEO at PG and E needs to resign.

My deepest condolences to the family and may the lord keep you strong during these difficult times. God bless you all.

Peter Wolf, Isn't it obvious...So we can pay big fat pensions and give them gas guzzling v-8's to drive around in.

Condolences to all family and friends who have lost loved ones.
I am actually shocked that the numbers of loss of life are not higher...I have a feeling these numbers will grow.

Godspeed

Michael, I'm so sorry you lost your friend.

As time goes on, more evidence comes to light, not the reverse. Let's let the NTSB do their job, as that report will be crucial to any future legal proceeding.

Was gratified to hear that 2 of the 6 ppl missing have been found, from all reports, alive.

More:
Actually I'd like to know who the developer was who built homes near/on top of that line. It was not a very populated area when the line was installed. With the line there, why did this change?

people cremate above 2000 at times. anything under such as 900 could easily complete cremation with steady fuel.

 
1 2 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: