Saturday, September 11, 2010

PG&Es Smoking Gun?

Ground Zero of San Bruno
Gas Explosion (before the explosion)
Click on image to enlarge - © 2010 by Google

This image from Google Earth shows the intersection of Earl Avenue and Glenview Drive in San Bruno, California sometime before the PG&E gas explosion which occurred here at approximately 6:24 PM on September 9th.

You'll notice what appears to be an asphalt patch running diagonally across the upper part of the intersection, possibly indicating some recent excavation work there, but what is much more interesting is the white painted oval outlining the entire intersection.

That prophetic oval predicts the exact position of the crater which was later created by the blast.

Residents in the area had apparently been reporting the smell of gas for some weeks before the accident and some reported that PG&E employees came out and did a survey of the area.

What did PG&E employees discover? Why is the location of the future crater marked so perfectly? If PG&E did know or suspect there was a leak why didn't they respond more urgently?

Good questions for those who lost loved ones or homes, or who have been injured, burned, or maimed by this tragedy. Was it preventable?'


I discovered this image while trying to find out exactly how close the explosion was to our sons girlfriends mothers house, which, I discovered, is about a block and a half south of the crater.

We thought our son, Jimmy, was staying there and had called the house, coincidently, just moments after the explosion happened, and his girlfriend, Dyanne, answered saying she couldn't talk because there had just been a plane crash or something and they were being evacuated.

We spent the next 18 hours or so believing our son was there too, and couldn't make any contact with them. It turns out that our son had gone to North Carolina a few days earlier and probably wasn't aware of what was going on in San Bruno, because he has no phone right now.

Anyhow it was a very long day for us and we still haven't heard from Dyanne, but I'm assuming she is OK because, from the pictures available now, it looks like her mom's place wasn't affected except by the evacuation order. They probably can't go home until the utilities are restored.



We got a finally got phone call from Dyanne this morning. They are back at her mom's house now but still have no gas service, and no internet. She had to go to the library to send me an e-mail and her phone service just came back up.

She said the whole thing was such a frightening experience that she's still at a loss for words...

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Blogger CG said...

Jim, you know I'm no fan of corporations. But perhaps they were trying to find and FIX whatever was wrong. Likewise with BP and the dispersants they used . . . I was skeptical about their toxicity and why BP wanted to use them but it at least looks like the company, the corporation, made the right decision in using them and all the naysayers would have just held the status quo for oil spills.

And I do want to say unequivocally that corporations, even the most evil of them, do not WANT disasters to happen. I'm sure they go with their assessment of the odds . . . but so do all of us just to live. Not excusing them but saying that we are all responsible and that making it into an "us" and "them" situation is a destructive path to take.

The problem I have with corporations is that they are too big so that their disasters can be too big too. They are too big mostly because all the people in that neighborhood, and in fact in California, demand to have that gas delivered directly and in high supply to their homes and businesses.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Dear CG-

As for those oil dispersants, we won't really know about the toxicity or consequences of that for years, if not decades or centuries, to come.

And, obviously, corporations don't want disasters to happen, they cost them money and cut into their profits big time. And yes, I do realize that corporations only exist because we buy their products, and ultimately, we the people, are responsible for the mess we've created.

Yes, many corporations are too big, too big to exist, and too big to fail. And how many of those gas consumers along Glenview Drive in San Bruno had any idea they were sitting on top of one of PG&Es most at risk half century old high capacity gas transmission lines?

People should be clearly informed about the risks they take on when purchasing any product or service, especially when someone else is making huge profits from that risk.

My point here is that people can't make good decisions without good information, and over 200 billion dollars is spent by corporations on advertising and propaganda every year to insure that American consumers hear, first and foremost, the message they want them to hear.

Yes, ultimately it's up to us as individuals to be well informed but it's difficult for most people to understand Latin, when all they're taught is pidgin english.

Boy, you and I just love to play the devil's advocates don't we?

Love ya girl, and keep on prodding so I can stay on my toes...

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