Mcafee & Taft RegLINC: National Transportation Safety Board finds deficiencies in emergency notification By Vickie Buchanan


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates transportation accidents, determines the probable cause of the accident, and often issues recommendations to prevent similar accidents from occurring. Recently, the NTSB has been investigating the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) pipeline rupture and explosion in San Bruno, California. Its investigation has revealed that emergency response procedures established by pipeline operators may rob emergency responders of the opportunity to act in the critical first minutes after a rupture or a leak of a pipeline has occurred.

On September 9, 2010, a PG&E 30-inch-diameter underground natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured in a residential area in San Bruno and released 47.6 million standard cubic feet of natural gas. The released gas ignited and caused an explosion which resulted in a crater about 72 feet long and 26 feet wide. Eight people were killed, dozens more injured, 38 homes were destroyed, and 70 more homes suffered damage.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Vickie Buchanan.

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