PG&E repairs gas line, works on restoration after San Francisco gas explosion

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- PGE is working to restore gas to 300 customers following Wednesday's explosion and fire in San Francisco's Jordan Park neighborhood. PGE says repairs to the gas distribution line are complete, their focus now is removing water and debris from the line before natural gas is resupplied to the line.

The National Transportation Safety Board has a Go-Team on the way from Washington, DC to investigate what happened. Meantime, people who live and work nearby are picking up the pieces.

RELATED: NTSB to investigate fiery explosion of PG&E gas line in San Francisco's Inner Richmond

Steve McReynolds showed ABC7 News cell phone video he took of the flames.

"I heard a loud hissing sound-- it sort of sounded just like a flame thrower and then I look around the corner and it's just a big vortex fire," said McReynolds.

McReynolds is an Assistant Detail Manager at San Francisco Toyota.

"It's just like-- what is going on," he said.

PGE says a third party engineering firm breached a four-inch gas distribution line and that they had a valid Underground Service Alert ticket. Verizon hired the third party engineering firm MasTec to install fiber optic cables. A PGE locator responded to the area on January 28th and properly marked the underground lines. PGE says the markings were captured with photo documentation.

RELATED: Residents rushed to evacuate amid gas explosion, fire on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco

"It just seems there's something wrong that this could happen," said Warren Li, the landlord and owner of a building that's now closed due to shattered windows, water damage and no power.

Li says tenants in four units have to stay elsewhere.

"All things considered I've been pretty lucky that the building is still standing unlike the building across the street," said Li.

Li is referring to Hong Kong Lounge II restaurant. Loyal customers started a GoFundMe page for employees.

At nearby Mel's Diner, Manager Obel Gonzalez showed ABC7 News photos he took of the fire.

"I just heard a big explosion I never hear anything before like that," said Gonzalez.

"Everybody saw and said wow," he continued.

Mayor Breed and city officials gathered at Mel's Diner between updates.

VIDEO: Audio captures terror after gas explosion, fire in San Francisco

PGE says it took them almost two and a half hours to shut off gas because they had to hand dig to pinch the line and they didn't want to disrupt gas service to many more customers.

The National Transportation Safety Board which investigates major pipeline and gas related incidents is on the way from Washington, DC.

The California Public Utilities Commission is also investigating.

Take a look at full coverage on the gas explosion and fire on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco.
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