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San Bruno gas pipeline explosion claims eighth victim


The natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno has claimed an eighth victim, the San Mateo County coroner’s office announced Tuesday.

James Emil Franco, 58, died Monday morning at UCSF Medical Center, where he was being treated for serious injuries from the fire.

The coroner’s office was attempting to determine whether Franco lived at 951 Glenview Drive, where he was on Sept. 9, when the pipeline ruptured and the escaping gas caught fire. The house was one away from the intersection in the Crestmoor neighborhood where the explosion occurred.

An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday to determine the cause of death.

In testimony prepared before Franco’s death was announced, the city’s mayor, James Ruane, said there were four people still hospitalized in critical condition. Ruane spoke to a Senate transportation subcommittee investigating the pipeline disaster. He said 66 people were injured in the blast.

The fire, which raged for hours, destroyed 37 homes and left 18 others uninhabitable.

-- John Hoeffel

Photo: L.A. Times file.

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