On Thursday, 9 September 2010 dozens of homes destroyed and at least one person dead due to massive explosion of a natural-gas in San Bruno near San Francisco International Airport in California. The fire broke out at about 6 p.m. local time (0200 GMT Friday) in an area near the intersection of highways 280 and 380 in San Bruno, some 19 km south of downtown San Francisco.
As per the local media report, the reason of explosion is a 24-inch Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) high-pressure gas line. The fire exploded from a punctured petroleum pipeline which is next to a high school when a backhoe digging too close clipped the line. However, the PG&E has not inveterate that the explosion was from its pipeline. The explosion was spread for miles and shot a fireball over 1,000 feet in the air. People were scared and fleeing for safety to get belongings out of burning homes. A witness says the surrounding asphalt is melted and almost all of the homes on Glenview Drive are destroyed. The fire had spread to 10 acres and was 50 percent restricted.
Due to this explosion, many roads were closed. At San Bruno Avenue, Northbound and southbound I-280 exits are blocked at this time. In addition, the northbound I-280 Skyline Boulevard exit is closed, Highway 35 is blocked in both directions between Westburough and College, northbound Skyline is blocked at Sneath Lane and southbound Skyline west of I-280 is subject to traffic control. It is advisable to drivers to avoid the areas if possible.
San Bruno Fire Chief Dennis Haag said, ‘”We believe it’s a high-pressure gas line that’s blown.” Pacific Gas and Electric, the utility company that serves the San Francisco Bay area, had crews in the area investigating the possibility of a natural gas explosion but had no additional information, said spokesman J.D. Guidi.
California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado told CNN from the scene early Friday, “It was like a bomb went off”. He said the cause of the conflagration was still unclear. “We don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened. Tomorrow morning we’ll find out,” he said. Crews with search dogs will go through whole area, he said. “We’ll try to find folks if there are folks in their homes.”
“It started as a rumbling and then the flames came,” Bob Pellegrini, a 48-year old San Bruno resident, said at the Bayhill Shopping Center parking lot where more than 100 hundred people evacuated to. “Then smoke came into the house and the intense heat started burning the wood. Every car on the street was burned. We ran out back, out the side gates and down the street behind us.”
Video of San Bruno Fire from YouTube:
Video of San Bruno fire after gas pipe explosion in California from YouTube: