Power Outage Probed in Connection to San Bruno Blast

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010  |  Updated 8:28 AM PDT
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San Bruno Aftermath: a Look Back

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Federal officials are looking into the possibility that a section of the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno on Sept. 9 had experienced an equipment failure in the days prior to the deadly blast.

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Federal officials are looking into the possibility that a section of the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno on Sept. 9 had experienced an equipment failure in the days prior to the deadly blast.

Special Coverage: San Bruno Explosion

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday that crews were working on a power supply system in Milpitas -- just 30 miles from the explosion -- to replace an uninterruptable power supply system that would have kept the electricity on in the event of an outage.

The power source in Milpitas apparently failed in the hours before the explosion, which killed seven people, injured several others and destroyed 37 homes. A failure at the Milpitas site, where the San Bruno pipe originated, could have affected PG&E's ability to monitor and regulate pressure in the 46-mile pipeline that ran through San Bruno, experts said.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier mentioned the power failure Monday during a news conference in San Bruno, where she announced she would propose legislation to change natural gas pipeline safety standards and increase public knowledge of locations of gas transmission lines.

The power failure is just one of many factors federal investigators are looking into as a cause of the blast.

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