Pacific Gas and Electric Company Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Rupture and Fire San Bruno, California (September 9, 2010) by National Transportation Safety Board
On September 9, 2010, about 6:11 p.m. Pacific daylight time, a 30-inch-diameter segment of an intrastate natural gas transmission pipeline known as Line 132, owned and operated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, ruptured in a residential area in San Bruno, California. The rupture occurred at mile point 39.28 of Line 132, at the intersection of Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive. The rupture produced a crater about 72 feet long by 26 feet wide. The section of pipe that ruptured, which was about 28 feet long and weighed about 3,000 pounds, was found 100 feet south of the crater. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company estimated that 47.6 million standard cubic feet of natural gas was released. The released natural gas ignited, resulting in a fire that destroyed 38 homes and damaged 70. Eight people were killed, many were injured, and many more were evacuated from the area. As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the governor of the state of California, the California Public Utilities Commission, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the American Gas Association, and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.