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Gas pipe explosion leaves two dead

by Isabella Neri on April 23, 2017

San Bernadino, Calif.An explosion occurred this morning between Duffy Street and Highland
Ave, leaving two dead and seven injured.

According to a spokesman for the mayor of San Bernardino, about 700 people have been
evacuated from their homes and brought to the Red Cross evacuation center on Kerry Street.

The explosion was caused by a rupture in the Calnev Pipeline, a 550-mile pipeline that
lies six feet underground and stretches from Los Angeles to the Nellis Air Force Base in Las
Vegas. The pipeline consists of two pipes, the larger of which burst around 8:11 a.m.

The Calnev pipeline carries approximately 128,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline, or more
than 3.3 million gallons of jet fuel and diesel fuel daily.

The pipeline explosion comes two weeks after a 69-car runaway freight train derailed in
the same neighborhood.

We dont know the cause of the break, says David Andries, an official of the Calnev
gas company, which is owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. It could have been the train,
obviously.

Calnev pipeline General Manager Jed Robinson points to an unsealed valve as the cause
of the uncontrollable fire.

With that kind of a volatile fuel, you have to use some sort of foam, Robinson says.
Normally where there is not an awful lot of fuel, you just contain it and try to let it burn out.

The explosion created a fire that lasted for hours and destroyed many homes.

I felt my whole house shake. I thought it was an earthquake, says Miretta Brumlow, a
local homeowner whose home was destroyed in the fire. Everything I own was in that house.

The grass was burninggreen grass burning, says Bill Stewart, an insurance agent who
was visiting a client at the time of the explosion. Everything was burning, even the concrete.

People are still being evacuated from the area and officials are working on turning off
local gas lines.

We were assured by the pipeline people it was safe [after the railroad accident] and the
experts who examined it said there was no danger, Penman says.

The cloud of thick smoke from the explosion remains visible from neighborhoods as far
as Riverside and Ontario.

This incident is reminiscent of the pipeline rupture and subsequent fire in Las Vegas
Valley on December 22, 1980. After construction damaged the pipeline, between 50,000 and
100,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled for two hours.

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