APNewsBreak: Blast survivors launch advocacy group

By GARANCE BURKE and TERENCE CHEA | September 8, 2011 | 4:25 PM EDT

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (AP) — Families still mourning their loved ones lost in last year's Northern California pipeline explosion are forming a new national nonprofit to advocate for pipeline safety.

The Sept. 9, 2010, blast in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno killed eight, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes, the nation's deadliest pipeline accident in a decade.

Rene Morales, whose 20-year-old daughter Jessica died in the inferno, will serve as the Gas Pipe Safety Foundation's executive director.

Morales tells The Associated Press the group will raise awareness through public campaigns and press state and federal lawmakers to improve pipeline safety.

Federal investigators found last month that a litany of failures by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. led to the explosion and warned there was no certainty that those problems didn't exist elsewhere.