Friday, September 10, 2010

Pacific Gas & Electric - or someone else - is having a very bad morning

I don't live in the San Francisco area, but I've been monitoring it as the area prepares for Oracle OpenWorld, although I spent last night watching (of all things) Jeopardy.

Sadly, I woke up this morning to discover that for the last 12 hours, people have been monitoring the San Francisco area for an entirely different reason:

Firefighters poured water on flaming and smoldering wreckage early Friday after a massive explosion sent blazes roaring through a neighborhood in the hills south of San Francisco, killing at least one person, destroying more than 50 homes and damaging dozens of others.

Thursday night's explosion shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet in the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety and rushing to get belongings out of burning homes, witnesses said.

Utility officials said a gas line ruptured in the vicinity of the blast, which left a giant crater and sent flames tearing across several suburban blocks in San Bruno just after 6 p.m.

As of this hour they're still fighting the fire (Fox News is showing it nonstop), but you know that there will be an investigation into this. And Pacific Gas & Electric is preparing for it.

"If it is ultimately determined that we were responsible for the cause of the incident, we will take accountability," Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said in an e-mailed statement Thursday evening.

But later Thursday the company's president, Christopher Johns, said he didn't know what sparked the explosion.

"I don't have any details about if there was any work going on," Johns told KTVU-TV. "That will be part of the investigation as we go forward."

Past experience with disasters has shown that when something like this happens, it's not just one thing going wrong - it's many things going wrong at once. And this is clearly a disaster - the last TV report that I heard indicated that six people have died.

It's too early to see a news release from PG&E on this, but there probably will be one forthcoming.
blog comments powered by Disqus