On December 14, 2010, the NTSB released an update on its investigation into the accident that occurred on September 9 in San Bruno. That accident tragically claimed eight lives, injured dozens more and did terrible damage to homes and property. PG&E continues to focus first and foremost on the families and the community of San Bruno. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with them.
Our attention and resources have been focused on three priorities:
- Getting help to the families, individuals and the community affected
- Ensure the safety of our system
- Cooperating fully with any and all investigations in the causes of this terrible accident
This accident raised concerns among our customers about the safety of natural gas pipelines. We've been taking extensive steps to ensure the integrity of our lines – and reassure our customers that they can have confidence in PG&E's system. We will continue to evaluate and ensure the integrity of our infrastructure.
Identifying what caused this tragedy is crucial to ultimately providing our customers with the full assurance they expect and deserve. We want to thank the NTSB for their meticulous and methodical work to find the answer to that question. While the report clearly says the investigation "is still in an early phase and there is much factual information to be developed," it is another step forward in the process. The NTSB's work continues and a final conclusion may still be many months down the road. Like everyone else, we are anxious to get to the root cause of this accident; but we understand how complicated this investigation is and appreciate the need to do the job right.
PG&E will continue to do everything we can to cooperate with and support the NTSB's efforts as they continue their work. Let us again emphasize that PG&E will work to quickly implement any recommendations the NTSB may make along the way.
While NTSB rules limit our ability to comment on issues in detail or beyond the scope of their report, we'd like to reiterate and comment briefly on a few of the facts the NTSB shared today.
- No evidence of external corrosion on the ruptured pipe pieces was found.
- No evidence of excavation damage was found.
- No physical evidence suggesting a pre-existing leak was found.
There have been a number of questions raised about these issues over the past few months. This report provides some additional clarity on these points.
The report also notes a discrepancy in PG&E's records on the type of pipe installed at the San Bruno location. As part of this investigation we have been conducting an exhaustive check of records to ensure their accuracy.
Finally, we'd like to reiterate the following:
- Our customers have our pledge that PG&E will continue to work aggressively to ensure the safety of our system.
- Safety is the foundation for everything we do.
- From day one we have been committed to helping the families and the city of San Bruno to recover from this tragedy. We will deliver on that commitment.
Gas Transmission Pipeline Information
PG&E has a comprehensive inspection and monitoring program to ensure the safety of its natural gas transmission pipeline system.
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