This is about 3 miles from where I worked in San Fran, and about 8 miles from where we lived. Scary is right. People were reportedly “smelling natural gas for days” prior to the explosion, so it’s undeniable that the gas was perfumed. Whether they were reporting the natural gas smells through the appropriate avenues is unclear to me at this point in time. San Bruno is predominantly a poorer neighborhood, with more dilapidated building infrastructure (and utilities to match I presume), than the surrounding neighborhoods (San Mateo, Daly City, San Fran). I’m curious as well how much “traction” complaints from more “gentrified” neighborhoods have had amongst utility providers, in comparison to areas such as the predominantly hispanic (and economically denuded) San Bruno.
At this point, these are my assumptions, until proven otherwise:
1. The San Bruno infrastructure was in disrepair, especially in relation to wealthier and whiter surrounding areas
2. The neighborhood population did report the smell of gas/rotten eggs to authorities/the utility company
3. The utility company’s initial response was “we’ll look into it” (in a little bit…maybe…) Read the rest of this entry »