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Gas line ruptures at site of deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion

August 2, 2012 | 11:59 am

Gas line ruptures in San Bruno
A contractor accidentally ruptured a three-inch gas distribution line at the San Bruno site of a deadly pipeline explosion, prompting evacuations and putting residents on edge.

The leak was reported about 10:45 a.m. at Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive, a San Bruno fire official said.

The first crews to arrive reported a heavy smell of gas and began to evacuate a one-block radius, according to CBS 5 in San Francisco.

PHOTOS: San Bruno fire

"This is a situation that is quickly being resolved," San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson told The Times.

She said construction crews have been active in the area, rebuilding homes that were destroyed in the 2010 explosion. Residents were first told to stay in their homes, but were later evacuated "in an abundance of caution."

On Sept. 9, 2010, a decades-old gas pipeline exploded under the suburb south of San Francisco and left a gaping crater in the street, whipping up an inferno that tore down everything in its path.

A month after the explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that maintenance work at a pipeline control center triggered electrical problems and a rise in gas pressure just before the explosion. Facing scrutiny from federal regulators, former PG&E Chairman and Chief Executive Peter A. Darbee stepped down in April 2011.

Four months later, the NTSB issued a scathing report in which the agency blamed the gas company for "baffling" mistakes and lax oversight that led to the explosion. NTSB officials said PG&E took almost 95 minutes to shut off the gas spewing from the pipeline in San Bruno.

In March, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. agreed to pay $70 million in restitution to aid the city of San Bruno's recovery.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Dozens of San Bruno homes were destroyed in September 2010 in a massive explosion and fire. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images