Last night a horrifying fire, due to an explosion, swept through the Crestmoor neighborhood in San Bruno. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, fire has been contained and the search continues for possible victims. Officials said the fire was caused by a gas pipeline explosion. Searchers have combed through 75% of the homes destroyed by the blast and there are no residents unaccounted for. But they won’t know for certain about additional victims until they search the remaining homes, which are now too hot to enter. At least four people were killed and 52 injured in the explosion and fire.Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, serving as acting governor while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Asia, declared a state of emergency in the neighborhood. A total of 52 people have been hospitalized, including three with third-degree burns. The most seriously injured were being treated at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. Three victims there have burns over 50 percent of their body, and a fourth has burns over 40 percent.
The site of the explosion is marked by a 30-foot-diameter crater filled with water, while chunks of asphalt and melted cars cover the road. The natural gas pipe that ruptured was laid down 60 years ago. A metallurgist, Ravi Chhatre, with the National Transportation Safety Board will be helping locals investigate what caused the pipeline to explode. Although the safety board is known primarily for investigating plane crashes, it also dispatches teams after major pipeline incidents. According to reports, some residents said they had smelled gas in the neighborhood in the days preceding the explosion and that PG&E trucks had been in the area. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we wonder how the victims of the fire will cope as they try and put their lives back together. More than likely, when the cause of the explosion is confirmed, the lawsuits will begin to be filed. The good news is the Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help rebuild the community. If you or your family have been the victim of a fire or have question regarding lawsuits due to fires, please call the Brod Law Firm.