San Bruno, CA. – A press conference was held in San Bruno this morning and broadcast live online and across news channels. PG&E officials, the San Bruno Fire Department, the San Bruno Police Department and others were on hand to answer questions about the gas explosion that resulted in a six-alarm fire in San Bruno that continues to burn.
The fire is currently contained at 75 percent, according to SBFD. Fire fighters have been unable to stabilize the source and ascertain how the fire started.
More than 40 fire engines and response units were dispatched after the explosion Thursday afternoon. Crews worked through the night to contain the flames.
PG&E officials stated that 15 acres have been burned so far. Six blocks of a residential neighborhood suffered the most damage, with 38 homes destroyed and seven more damaged. It is likely that a water main and sewer main were damaged in the neighborhood.
There have been four deaths so far, and 52 people were taken to the hospital for injuries. Three people suffered critical burns and are still receiving care.
Gas is no longer flowing through the gas lines in the neighborhood; 700 PG&E customers are without electricity, and 300 customers are without gas. PG&E projects that by noon at least 300 of the PG&E customers without electricity will have their service restored, pointing out that they are going block by block to ensure that it is safe to restore power.
PG&E believes that the pipe that exploded is about 40 to 50 years old. They describe it as a 30-inch pipe buried less than three feet underground.
News reports have stated that people in the area smelled gas for days before the explosion late Thursday afternoon. PG&E acknowledged those statements and said that they were currently looking into every call made from the area the past few days and determining how they were handled.
Governor Schwarzenegger is in Asia, and Lieutenant Abel Maldonado is acting governor, according to The Examiner. Lt. Maldonado has declared a state of emergency in San Bruno.
SBPD is protecting the integrity of the scene as much as possible until it is determined exactly how the fire was started.
“Natural gas explosion rocks San Bruno; 4 dead,” ABC.