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2 PG&E Employees Await Interview By San Bruno Blast Investigators

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San Bruno gas pipeline blast

The remains of a ruptured gas line lie on the ground after an explosion September 10, 2010 in San Bruno. (Eric Risberg-Pool/Getty Images)

SAN BRUNO (KCBS) — Two key Pacific Gas and Electric Company employees, who were on duty the night of the San Bruno pipeline explosion, have yet to speak to federal investigators about the incident.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the employees said they were too traumatized to be questioned.

The National Transportation Safety Board is looking to speak to the employees about a gas-pressure spike that occurred shortly before the pipeline ruptured on September 9.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“It’s a problem but I’m sure it’s going to be addressed because the National Transportation Safety Board will require that those interviews take place,” said Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

The NTSB is leading the investigation and said the pressure spike was caused by a power outage at an unmanned power station in Milpitas, where the 46-mile gas pipeline ends.

“I think they are trying to accommodate the individuals,” Speier said. “I don’t know the specific elements of their condition. I’ve requested that information from PG&E, but that has not yet been forthcoming.”

She adds that in an explosion, human error is oftentimes the element that is relevant, so a comprehensive investigation is critical.

The newspaper reports that the two employees were vital in how PG&E responded to the outage. Some have said the one hour and thirty minutes it took to shut off the gas was much too long.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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