NTSB to investigate explosion, fire south of San Francisco

A team of federal safety experts is heading to California to investigate an explosion and fire that destroyed dozens of homes in the hills south of San Francisco.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that it has sent a four-member team to San Bruno, where the explosion occurred. The NTSB's duties include investigating pipeline accidents.

The utility company that serves the San Francisco Bay area says one of its gas lines ruptured in the vicinity of the blast, leaving a giant crater and sending flames tearing across several suburban blocks late Thursday.

© 2010 The Associated Press.