San Bruno Blast Claims Eighth Life

Man was hospitalized with serious burns

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 8:17 AM PDT
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Lawmakers should consider creating a federal standard to limit how close companies can build high-pressure pipelines to homes, the president of the <a title=California utility whose ruptured gas pipeline led to a massive explosion and fire that killed eight people said Tuesday." />

Lawmakers should consider creating a federal standard to limit how close companies can build high-pressure pipelines to homes, the president of the California utility whose ruptured gas pipeline led to a massive explosion and fire that killed eight people said Tuesday.

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The San Mateo County Coroner's Office confirmed on Tuesday that a man who was seriously burned in the San Bruno gas line explosion has died.

The man's death brings the total of victims killed as a result of the Sept. 9 blast to eight. The coroner's office identified him as James Franco.

Special Coverage: San Bruno Explosion

Franco, 58, lived in an upstairs rental unit on Glenview Drive, just a couple hundred feet from where the natural gas line ruptured, according to the Chronicle. The homeowner said Franco was in his room when the blast happened.

Last week, officials confirmed remains found in the blast zone were three members of the same family. Greg, William and Lavone Bullis were classified as missing until DNA was used to identify their remains. Jacquelin Greig, 44 and her 13-year-old daughter, Janessa, were also killed in the blast that ignited a fireball that ripped through the Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood. Jessica Morales, 20, also died in the explosion.

The explosion in San Bruno destroyed 37 homes and injured at least 50 people.

Also Tuesday we learned federal officials turned down a request for millions in disaster aid.    FEMA said it determined that state and local governments, along with the utility that owns the ruptured pipeline, could cover the cost of recovery on their own, a spokesman said.

FEMA could still reimburse the state for up to 75 percent of the firefighting expenses connected to the blast.

Several Bay Area officials are in Washington, D.C. this week to talk about the explosion at congressional hearings.

And in Washington, federal investigators said laboratory tests on segments of pipeline, which they hope will shed light on the cause, were scheduled to begin later this week. The NTSB said it was looking into a brief equipment failure that occurred miles away from the blast site as a possible contributing factor.  PG&E crews were working on a power supply system in Milpitas hours before the explosion. The system apparently lost power for a time, and that could have hindered in their monitoring of the pipe's pressure.

 


 

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