New details emerge on Calif. pipeline's prior leak

By GARANCE BURKE | June 24, 2011 | 3:00 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California utility under fire for a deadly pipeline explosion is revealing that key information it gave federal investigators about past problems on its ruptured gas line is being called into question by some employees.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. quietly released a document in May showing that the same transmission line had previously sprung a leak a few miles away. That disclosure came more than eight months after the explosion killed eight people in a San Francisco suburb.

But the company revealed this week that its own workers' accounts challenge the accuracy of that document given to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The conflicting accounts about the 1988 leak are the latest in a string of concerns about the company's record-keeping in the wake of the September blast.