San Bruno, Calif. – City of San Bruno leaders and staff met with the contractor responsible for a gas line break today and demanded and received additional measures to ensure safety and prevent future incidents.
The contractor hit a PG&E gas line prompting concerns and evacuations in the neighborhood ravaged by the deadly 2010 pipe explosion, but the leak did not spark a fire or cause any injuries.
The owner of the contracting company responsible apologized to the citizens of San Bruno for the incident and agreed to additional safety and digging protocols to prevent future accidents.
“I offer my sincerest apologies to the citizens of San Bruno on behalf of myself, my crew and my company,” said Matt Shaw, owner of Shaw Pipeline Co. of San Francisco. “We understand how sensitive this community still is from the PG&E explosion of September 2010 and we are deeply sorry to have caused additional and unnecessary concern.”
Shaw Pipeline was hired by the City to replace and repair water and sewer lines destroyed in the Sept. 2010 PG&E explosion and fire.
He pledged his full cooperation with City officials to institute additional safety measures and promised to personally join his crew each morning prior to the start of work until the project is completed in October.
Shaw’s crew clipped a two-inch line near Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive, nearly the same location as the deadly September 2010 PG&E explosion and fire, while digging with a backhoe at this morning. Utility crews responded quickly to shut off the gas. Although there was no fire, authorities evacuated some homes as a precaution.
“We reminded Mr. Shaw and his crew of the importance and sensitivity of our community and this particular neighborhood,” said City Manager Connie Jackson. “He apologized and accepted responsibility for the accident. We also met with PG&E to ensure they are comfortable with the construction procedures being performed.”
The work has been halted by the City on the project until at least Monday, Jackson said, to give the City and authorities the opportunity to review the accident and to implement additional new safety protocols.
New safety measures include a daily review by the contractor on how they will layout and execute their work where they are excavating. They must re-verify all utility locations before starting work each day. In the event there are any questions about utility locations in the field, they cannot do work until re-checking with utility authorities to verify the exact locations of underground lines, Jackson said. PG&E has also agreed to re-mark utility locations.
“We are relieved that no one was injured, but this incident caused significant distress and alarm throughout our City and community,” Jackson added. “We believe Mr. Shaw and his company more fully understand the importance of safety for our community and his own crew.”