NTSB to hold hearing into deadly San Bruno PG&E pipeline explosion
WASHINGTON — A three-day National Transportation Safety Board hearing that is expected to uncover more details about the deadly San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion and fire will begin in Washington D.C. Tuesday morning.
The NTSB is calling on witnesses from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the operator of the pipeline, the city of San Bruno, and the pipeline’s regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission, to testify before the panel to seek additional information for the federal investigation into what caused the massive explosion.
The September 9, 2010 explosion killed 8 people and left dozens of other residents who lived in a hillside subdivision in the Peninsula city injured. The explosion originated from a 30-inch natural gas transmission pipeline that ruptured beneath the neighborhood, sending a gas-fueled fireball into the evening sky that took hours to contain.
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Preliminary findings from the NTSB, the federal agency tasked with investigating the pipeline failure, questioned the integrity of the welds in the metal structure of the pipe. PG&E’s internal records indicated that the pipe was constructed out of a single piece of metal and did not contain welds.
The utility company is undergoing a massive re-inspection of its entire natural gas transmission pipeline network.
Tuesday’s hearing begins at 9 a.m. EST/ 6 a.m. PST in Washington D.C. and will continue through Thursday morning. The proceedings will be webcast live on the NTSB’s website at http://www.capitolconnection.net/capcon/ntsb/ntsb.htm.
The California Beat Capitol Hill news service contributed reporting to this story. Contact the Beat at email@example.com.