California blast cause remains elusive

Six people are still missing after a gas explosion in California last week left four dead and dozens injured.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the utility company implicated in the blast, completed all 'necessary construction and repair work' to the area yesterday (September 12) as affected residents were slowly allowed home.

PG&E staff remained on hand in the suburb of San Bruno, close to San Francisco International Airport, to carry out appliance safety checks in those homes considered habitable, as well as provide plumbers and electricians.

Not all residents have a home to return to, however, after the totally destroyed 37 properties.

Although the cause of the explosion remains unconfirmed, PG&E have conceded that a 50-mile long gas transmission pipe feeding the area was ruptured, stating: "If it is ultimately determined that we were responsible for the cause of the incident, we will take accountability."

Claims in US media state the pipeline was laid over 60 years ago in 1948 and that numerous San Bruno residents had concerns over gas leaks in the days and weeks prior to the explosion; a claim PG&E are yet to confirm.

State authorities have ordered the utility giant - which operates more than 5,000 miles of gas pipeline - to inspect its entire natural-gas network for leaks.

The organisation have also been told to keep all records pertaining to the San Bruno explosion and report how much it is spending on pipeline safety and replacement.

Sam Plester


gas | disasters


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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