California’s natural gas regulator to convene expert panel on San Bruno blast

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File photo: A charred buddah statue sits in the yard of a home that was destroyed by fire following a deadly gas main explosion on September 13, 2010 in San Bruno, California.

The state agency that regulates natural gas utilities voted Thursday to investigate the San Bruno pipeline explosion.

The California Public Utilities Commission will assign a panel of experts to find out why a segment of natural gas pipeline ruptured two weeks ago in the Glenview neighborhood a few miles south of San Francisco.

The blast and fire killed seven people and injured dozens more. The Commission will charge the costs of the blast investigation to Pacific Gas & Electric – the utility company that owns and operates the pipeline that failed.

The expert panel will investigate the integrity of all of PG&E’s pipelines and recommend improvements. The Public Utilities Commission president will select the experts for the panel over the next month.

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