Transformer-blast survivor reaches out to victims

A recent gas line rupture in San Bruno prompted a burn victim from an unrelated explosion to recount her experiences in a San Francisco hospital today.

Lisa Nash, 52, suffered third-degree burns after an underground transformer exploded in 2005, causing a manhole cover to rocket 30 feet into the air.

More than 40 percent of Nash's body was burned from the blast, including severe burns on her face, hands, arms and feet.

Nash talked about her recovery process and her relationship with PG&E, which owned the exploded transformer, today at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.

She said PG&E officials, “were extremely helpful. They came straight to the hospital. They acknowledged that because of their
infrastructure, this happened.”

Nash sued PG&E in 2005 after the transformer explosion, but later she settled with the company and has been happy with the outcome, she said today.

Doctors at Saint Francis Memorial are treating four burn victims of the San Bruno blast, which happened when a steel PG&E gas transmission pipeline ruptured at 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Dr. Clyde Ikeda, medical director at the hospital's Bothin Burn Center, said he's seen many burn victims make a successful recovery.

He said once patients are stabilized, surgeons replace tissue charred from an accident with the patients' own living tissue.

The Bothin Burn Center has been in service for about 43 years. It is the only dedicated burn center in San Francisco, according to the hospital.

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