Documents Reveal Possible PG&E Pipeline Flaw

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Recently released documents from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reveal what could be another construction problem along the transmission line running beneath a San Francisco suburb where a deadly natural gas explosion occurred.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that documents and interview transcripts released this month by the National Transportation Safety Board show PG&E inspectors found an apparently flawed seam weld located just a few hundred feet away from the San Bruno blast site.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson says investigators have not yet examined the weld.

PG&E has publicly identified other flaws in the 1956-era pipe, but not the potential problem uncovered in the inspection performed several weeks after the Sept. 9 explosion that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.

PG&E spokesman Joe Molica says the utility has not reached a determination about the seam weld’s quality.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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