Sen. Boxer tours explosion site, says two still missing

Two people are still unaccounted for after Thursday's explosion and fire in San Bruno, Sen. Barbara Boxer said at a news conference today.

Boxer joined other federal, state and local officials this morning on a tour of the Crestmoor Canyon site where, at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday, a 30-inch PG&E steel gas transmission pipeline ruptured, causing a massive explosion and fire that killed four people and hospitalized 52 others.

Two others are still unaccounted for, Boxer said at the news conference following the tour of the site, where 37 homes were destroyed and eight sustained major or minor damage.

Authorities did not immediately release information on the two people who are still missing.

Boxer said the disaster was “a heartbreaker” that “raises a lot of questions” about the safety of other pipelines in residential areas.

The senator said the investigation, led by the National Transportation Safety Board, will “check if there was adequate maintenance on the pipeline, and any recent excavation on the pipeline,” as well as “if PG&E had an emergency plan to respond to this, and how it was carried out.”

Boxer called for the “need to accelerate inspections” of other pipelines in residential and urban areas around the state.

“I have to be very clear that we're trying to prevent this from ever happening again,” she said.

Boxer said she was told by PG&E that customers who are worried about pipelines in their area can call the utility and will be told where the nearest ones are.

PG&E President Chris Johns was also at the news conference, and said that the utility “will do what's right for the folks to help this community.”

Johns addressed reports that residents smelled natural gas in the days and weeks prior to the explosion, and said officials have not found any records of calls to PG&E about a problem in the first nine days of September, or a record of their crews being in the area.

The California Public Utilities Commission has established a toll-free number and e-mail address for people to say if they noticed the smell prior to the explosion.

People can call (800) 789-0550 or send an e-mail to SBFire@cpuc.ca.gov.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

49ers win over Saints could help determine top seed in NFC playoffs

The NFC playoff picture is beginning to take shape after the 49ers… Continue reading

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Most Read