NTSB rules out corrosion, gouging in fatal PG&E blast

Dec 14, 2010 | 01:23 PM |

The aging Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E) natural gas pipeline that killed eight people when it exploded in September in San Bruno, Calif., ruptured in part along a seam weld, according to government investigators.

The finding means the blast occurred on a welded pipe, contradicting documents PG&E provided to federal investigators indicating the pipeline was made with seamless steel pipe.

At a news conference Tuesday, PG&E conceded that there was a "difference" between the information the utility shared with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigation, and what the agency's probe has uncovered.

Perspectives asked how the obvious difference between seamless and welded pipe could have been missed for so long amid intense public scrutiny of the deadly accident.

"We know there is a discrepancy there, and we are working to look at all of our records for that pipeline and make sure that we turn that information over to the NTSB," Kirk Johnson, PG&E vice president of gas transmission and distribution, replied.....

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