Governor to make first visit to disaster area

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday will make his first visit to San Bruno since last week’s deadly explosion and fire, which killed at least four people and injured more than 50 others.

Schwarzenegger, who was in Asia on a trade mission when the disaster struck Thursday, will join Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and other state and local officials Thursday afternoon on a tour of the Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood that was the site of the blast.

The explosion happened at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday when a 30-inch PG&E steel gas transmission pipeline ruptured.

Thirty-seven homes were destroyed and 19 others sustained substantial damage, San Bruno officials said.

Maldonado, acting as governor while Schwarzenegger was overseas, declared a state of emergency in San Mateo County following the disaster.

He also issued an executive order to provide assistance to victims that included the suspension of fees to replace important documents such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses.

Schwarzenegger and the other officials, including state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, will receive a briefing on the status of recovery efforts, tour the neighborhood, then hold a media availability at 2:45 p.m.

The media availability will be webcast live at www.gov.ca.gov.

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