Gas pipeline blows, causes mudslide on I-280

A 24-inch gas pipeline being tested on by utility workers ruptured Sunday afternoon, causing a significant mudslide on nearby Interstate 280.

November 6, 2011 6:24:41 PM PST
Two northbound lanes of Interstate 280 in San Mateo County have been closed due to mud and other debris in the roadway.

Authorities say a "catastrophic failure" of a 24-inch gas pipeline being tested by PG&E Sunday afternoon caused an explosion, which triggered a significant mudslide.

California Highway Patrol Capt. Mike Maskarich says the vapor that was released from the explosion is not harmful.

"There was a lot of pressure that had come through that line," Maskarich told ABC7 News, adding that the side of the hill near the freeway had "a significant amount of erosion."

Authorities are advising motorists to avoid the area and use U.S. Highway 101 as an alternate route.

Three lanes on I-280 have reopened, but a fourth lane remains closed while crews continue the cleanup.