SAN BRUNO (KCBS) – A little over a year after a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, killing eight people and destroying dozens of homes, the city’s residents are trying to leave one of the most visible remnants of the blast in the past.
Dozens of neighborhood residents and city officials lined up behind San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane to throw dirt over a portion of the now-inactive pipeline, which exploded Sept, 9, 2010, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes.READ MORE: Cal Fire Confirms Estrada Fire Sparked by Controlled Burn, Holding at 150 Acres; Evacuations Ordered
Ruane, who threw the first shovelful of dirt into the crater at the intersection of Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive, said filling in the hole is another important step in rebuilding the community.
“This is a very important day among many important days,” Ruane said. “Most important of all, this pipe is empty and will never be filled again.”
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
People applauded when the mayor shoveled what he said was “a small piece of dirt into a very large hole.”
San Bruno residents young and old took turns shoveling dirt into the crater after the mayor and City Council members had their turn, saying it felt good to take part in filling the hole in the middle of their neighborhood.
Resident Bennett Bibell smiled and said it was part of the community’s healing process to take part in the ceremony.READ MORE: Car Fleeing CHP Causes AC Transit Bus to Plow Into Oakland Home
“It’s a symbolic change from what we’ve been going through,” Bibell said. “It’s time to fill in that hole.”
Last month, federal investigators blamed PG&E for a number of failures that led to the pipeline explosion, saying the utility’s lax system of record-keeping and inspections failed to find a flawed section of pipe that was installed in 1956.
Glenda Carney used to live in a house that was just across the street from where the pipeline exploded. Her house was destroyed in the fire that followed.
Carney was at home on the evening of the disaster, and on Tuesday she had on the same pair of shoes she was wearing when she ran out the backdoor of her house to save herself.
She also took a turn shoveling a load of dirt into the crater.
“I hope this means it’s over,” Carney said.
After the symbolic ceremony, construction crews continued the work of covering the hole completely.MORE NEWS: Marin County Judge Tentatively Rejects Cutting Inmate Crowding at San Quentin
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