Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Scores of people attended a ceremony commemorating the third anniversary of the Sept. 9, 2010 explosion and fire last night in San Bruno.
To mark the three-year anniversary of the explosion and fire that shook San Bruno, the city held a remembrance service at the blast site last night.
Pacific Gas and Electric also announced yesterday it has settled nearly all of the remaining victims’ lawsuits for $565 million, said PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord. Eight people died as a result of a Sept. 9, 2010 PG&E pipeline explosion and fire in the Crestmoor neighborhood
“I’m disappointed in the timing,” Mayor Jim Ruane said. “They announced it when we were about to commemorate eight people who died.”
The event, at Claremont and Glenview drives, acted as a celebration of families who have completed reconstruction and are returning home and was also as a commemoration for those who died in the blast. There were also 66 people were injured, traumatizing a community and affecting the entire city.
Ruane spoke at the ceremony, congratulating the four families who are returning home.
“Tonight we celebrate their accomplishments and let them back into their homes with open arms,” he said. “We give a special welcome to new families who have moved into the neighborhood in the last two years. You have chosen a great place to call home — welcome and congratulations.”
Four more families will be moving back into their homes in the next 60-90 days.
A resident even read a poem to welcome back the neighbors and to remember the victims.
“Three years ago, a horrific explosion and fire killed eight of my constituents and destroyed a neighborhood,” U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said in a statement. “Those who lost loved ones will forever be scarred by this horrendous tragedy. Those who escaped with their lives are still haunted by the trauma and memories. Many improvements have been made to the natural gas system, but I continue to be disappointed by PG&E’s dismal record keeping and the CPUC’s inadequate oversight. We just recently learned that PG&E belatedly admitted to the CPUC that it kept bad records on two transmission lines on the Peninsula. Bad records can lead to bad outcomes. It is time for the CPUC to fine PG&E for its negligence in the past and force it to assure a safe gas system in the future. The San Bruno community is optimistic and resilient and will continue to heal in the years ahead.”
So far, of the 38 homes destroyed by the explosion, 16 have completed construction and are occupied, according to the city. Five homes are actively under construction with active building permits, while one home is preparing plans for a building permit submittal. Sixteen parcels remain vacant.
Together with the mayor of Allentown, Penn., where a similar pipeline explosion occurred in 2011, Ruane is forming the Mayors Council on Pipeline Safety through the U.S. Conference of Mayors to assure that the call for critical reform and public awareness is heard nationwide.
For more information on the rebuild effort visit rebuildcrestmoor.org.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105