Massive Crater Left in Wake of Gas Pipe Explosion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Firefighters investigate a massive crater at the scene of a gas main explosion in San Bruno, Calif.

    The above photograph is the source of the explosion that left a path of destruction in San BrunoA 30-inch PG&E gas line ruptured Thursday night, killing at least four people and injuring dozens more. Four people were critically injured by the flames and face months of recovery at a San Francisco burn unit.

    A giant crater marks the spot where it all began. Nearby, a huge pipe sits in the middle of the street as cadaver dogs search the rubble for more possible victims.

    In all, 38 homes were destroyed down to their foundation. Another seven houses were significantly damaged and dozens more suffered moderate to severe damage, according to state officials who revised the damage estimates at a Friday morning briefing.

    "Now that there is daylight, there is going to be even more heartache and more difficult times ahead." San Francisco state Sen. Leland Yee said as he visited the scene Friday. "Individuals are going back and seeing the devastation of this fire." 

    PG&E President Chris Johns said Friday that the cause of the rupture was unknown, adding the pipe was three feet underground.  Johns acknowledged reports that residents in the neighborhood say they had reported a gas smell to PG&E in the days prior to the explosion.

    "Right now, we haven't got confirmation about that," Johns said, "but we have records that we are going back right this minute to try to confirm what exactly those phone calls look like and when they occurred, and we will report back as soon as we know something."

    Raw Video: Explosion and Fire Burns Homes

    [BAY] Raw Video: Explosion and Fire Burns Homes
    Dozens of homes were destroyed in a massive fire on the peninsula. (Published Friday, Sep 10, 2010)

    The explosion has many people worried if they live on a pipeline that has the potential to burst.  The city of Palo Alto released this brochure of natural gas safety tips. The most important safety tip is if you smell even a hint of gas, leave the premises.

    The following is a series of raw video clips from the scene and official and neighborhood folks talking about the fire.

    Garvin Thomas walks with one man who just had to know if his house survived the fire.

    This is the  first ground video from the scene Thursday night.

    This is video from our chopper over the devastation Friday morning just after daylight.

     

    Daylight reveals a welcome sight for one San Bruno homeowner who declares, "My house is still standing."

    PG&E President Chris Johns talks about how his company is responding to the disaster.

    A Southern California fire captain walks a reporter through a home with useful tips to get you ready for a potential gas leak.

    View more news videos at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video.