SAN MATEO Co., Calif. — A PG&E natural gas pipeline that exploded during pressure testing on Sunday afternoon, causing a mudslide across Interstate Highway 280 in
Woodside, was likely damaged by a backhoe, a utility spokesman said
PG&E crews this morning were determining how to extract and
replace the damaged section of Line 132, which ruptured during hydrostatic
testing on a knoll above Highway 280 near Farm Hill Boulevard at about 3:20
p.m., PG&E spokesman David Eisenhauer said.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the section of pipe
that ruptured had been damaged by a backhoe sometime after the line was
installed in 1947. PG&E is looking into when that damage might have occurred
and what agency might have been responsible, Eisenhauer said.
The explosion left a 5-foot-by-5-foot crater in the hillside, and
water from inside the pipeline caused a mudslide that reached northbound
Highway 280 and blocked two lanes for about four hours, California Highway