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Compressed Gas Accident

Workers Involved in San Bruno Pipeline Blast Were Concerned with Danger

By Kelly Balamuth on March 18, 2011

Recently released documents from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) show that workers who rushed to repair a gas leak last year in a San Bruno, a suburb of San Francisco, knew something was wrong and were racing to stop the problem before the fatal blast occurred, according to Businessweek.

The gas leak resulted in a pipeline explosion that killed eight people, injured dozens, and left 55 homes ruined or severely damaged. As early as 30 minutes before the accident, workers knew there was a problem on the high-pressure gas transmission lines, according to the documents. However, they felt it was almost impossible to fix the problem.

According to investigators, there was a power failure at a control station about 30 miles from where the explosion occurred. That power failure resulted in a regulating valve opening fully, causing gas pressure to rise. Investigators also found many defects and cracks in the welds that held together segments of the pipeline that exploded.

Compressed gases, such as the gas in the pipeline, are a common safety hazard, particularly in industrial and manufacturing environments. Compressed gases can cause a variety of accidents, such as the explosion that occurred in San Bruno. A common danger arises from compressed gases that aren’t properly capped. Because many compressed gases are flammable, they also pose a big fire risk if not properly contained.

Have you been injured as the result of an accident caused by a compressed gas? If so, you may be able to recover for your injuries. Contact the Northern California compressed gases hazards attorneys at Balamuth Harrington at 888-254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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