01/25/2011 // San Francisco, CA, USA // Mary Alexander // San Bruno injury lawyer Mary Alexander
San Bruno, CA (San Bruno Injury Lawyer News)—More than four months after a gas pipeline operated by PG&E exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people and leveling 38 homes, federal and state regulators continue to search for the cause. According to a Jan. 20, 2011 Mercury News report, investigators have questioned whether the utility’s decision to raise the pressure in the San Bruno gas line to the legal limit, as it did periodically in at least 10 other lines, caused it to rupture on Sept. 9. Nevertheless, experts such as Bob Bea, a professor of engineering at UC Berkeley, claimed the practice of increasing gas pressure to the maximum allowable level is generally safe, as long as the pipes are in good condition. Bea contended that if the pipe was damaged in any way, the surge in pressure “could help grow the defects.”
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), although the San Bruno pipeline had seams in it prior to the multiple-fatality blast, Pacific Gas & Electric’s records described it as “seamless.” Regulators have since ordered PG&E to hand over documents specifying what maximum acceptable operating pressure was established specifically for its pipelines. Bay Area injury attorney Mary Alexander contended in a previous news release, “Right now there is only one thing that’s certain: Something did go wrong. People were injured and killed. Many saw their lives changed forever. And very likely, it never had to happen.”
Bob Bea noted, “Under ‘normal’ conditions, increasing the pressure from 375 to 400 psi should not be a problem.” Experts said many gas lines around the country routinely function at the maximum legal level of 400 psi or slightly below it without incident. Officials from the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America alleged it would likely take more than 1,000 psi for a gas pipeline to rupture. Regulators kept a margin of safety in mind when setting the maximum allowable operating pressure for gas lines. Authorities continue to investigate the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion.
*Leading Bay Area injury attorney Mary Alexander representing San Bruno fire victims, states if you or a loved one have been injured or killed in the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With more than 25 years of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of negligence victims and their families, contacting San Bruno injury lawyer Mary Alexander may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
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