SAN BRUNO - The explosion of a PG&E natural gas pipeline killed at least 4 people and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable 58 homes in a San Bruno neighborhood on Thursday. About 300 houses in the neighborhood were left with little or no damage, and residents were allowed to return on Sunday.

Although the Coroner's Office has confirmed only 4 fatalities, it is in the process of examining at least 3 sets of skeletal remains to determine if they are human. Four people remain missing after the explosion of the 30 inch pipeline that ran 4 to 5 feet under the residential neighborhood.

In the aftermath of the devastating explosion, steps are being taken to avoid such a tragedy in the future. The former head of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Brigham McCown, called for new rules to separate residences from pipelines. McCown said that federal officials have been concerned for years about urban encroachment on large pipeline routes but haven't addressed it. Maybe now some action will be taken to address this real danger.

Rep. Jackie Speier sought federal hearings on the accident. "Most of the people here didn't even know there was a pipeline near them."

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said today that it would spend as much as $100 million to help rebuild the San Bruno neighborhood destroyed by the explosion. PG&E President Chris Johns said the spending is not an admission that the company is at fault. The cause of the blast is still under investigation.

For those of us following the story of the San Bruno explosion in the news, the event has already passed. For residents who have been injured or the families of those killed in the blast, however, the ordeal has only begun. If the explosion was due to the negligence of government regulators or PG&E, the victims and their families will need to have an experienced and aggressive wrongful death and catastrophic injury trial attorney on their side.

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients. We have the skill and experience to ensure that individuals and their families receive the financial support necessary to help them move forward with their lives.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to the negligence of another, please contact the lawyers at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley.

(Source: WSJ, SF Examiner, SF Gate)

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