MSNBC: Huge blast destroys dozens of homes near San Francisco
MSNBC posted this terrifying video of the burning pipeline after the initial blast. Reports indicate that firefighters had to wait an hour before the pipeline was shut off and could only work to slow the fire that was ripping through the neighborhood.
More text below the video.
A massive explosion sent flames roaring through a neighborhood in the hills south of San Francisco on Thursday night, destroying more than 50 homes, leaving at least one person dead and injuring dozens.
The explosion shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet in the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety and rushing to get belongings out of burning homes.
Flames hot enough to crack a fire engine windshield incinerated homes and damaged 120 others as crews continued battling the blaze into the night.
A 15-foot-deep crater about 30 feet long and 20 feet wide was left near Claremont and Glenview drives and Earl Avenue, KGO-TV said. Homes on both sides of the street were leveled, it said.
… firefighters initially had trouble getting close enough to the ruptured gas line to shut it down because of the flames, adding that more than 100 people were being sheltered at nearby evacuation centers.
… the neighborhood was engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, even though the fire station was only a few blocks away ... the blast took out the entire water system, forcing firefighters to pump water from more than two miles away.
Naber told the Chronicle how he ran to his door and tried to open it, but the handle burned his hand. He then fled the house with his mother and as they ran to their car they could see the fireball. The intense heat burned hair off his arms, Naber said.
Other neighbors told NBC they saw the street rip apart and ran for their lives from a huge wall of flames, with oneman describing how he jumped into his car and drove through the blaze.
The man, who was not identified, told NBC the explosion was followed by a hail of asphalt falling from the sky. His bumper was fried by the time he got to safety, but he was safe.