In the week following the San Bruno pipeline explosion, many are asking if anything could have been done to prevent such a tragedy. One article has pointed to repair delays that if made, could have avoided the accident. According to reports, California state officials provided PG&E close to $5 million to replace a South San Francisco natural gas line identified as a “high safety risk” but never did the work.
The Utility Reform Network (TURN) alleged that the California Public Utilities Commission has granted PG&E $5 million three years ago under the assumption that it was going to replace high-risk sections such as the one that exploded. However, it failed to do so. In fact, the pipe still is in dangerous shape, with one document calling the risk of failure on the pipe “unacceptably high” and that an explosion “has a potential impact radius of 415 feet and is located in a heavily urbanized area.”
As noted by one official “If they had done the work, maybe they could have found something that would have alerted then to the potential of a catastrophic failure of the pipe.”
When a company knowingly allows a dangerous condition to exist and either fails to warn of the danger, or fix the dangerous condition, they may be held liable.
As evidenced by the explosion, when pipelines fail the impact can be tragic. At least four people died and dozens more were injured – possibly sustaining burns, traumatic brain injuries, head and back injuries.
PG&E has been found culpable in at least one other deadly incident – an explosion caused by a natural gas leak that destroyed a house in 2008 in Rancho Cordova, California.
As stated by CNN, last week’s explosion raises a couple of critical questions: exactly how extensive and how safe are the nation’s gas lines?
For more information, or if you have been injured by a dangerous condition, contact Sette Law Office, dedicated to helping those injured by another’s negligence for more than 26 years.
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