Following up on the latest PG&E pipeline rupture that closed part of Interstate 280 near Woodside, the Examiner reports that this one probably wasn't the gas and electric company's fault. Although PG&E has (rightfully) taken a lot of heat for the "litany of failures" in the testing of its pipelines, the Woodside segment of Line 132 — the same line that ruptured in San Bruno — was previously dented. The culprit there was most likely a construction crew being careless with a backhoe. Unhelpfully, the dent could have occurred anytime in the past 60 years since the line was installed in 1947.
Also not helping anyone's fear of randomly rupturing underground lines: the section of pipe that left a 5-foot crater in Woodside was not the section containing a pinhole that prompted the hydrostatic pressure test. Or as one pipeline safety expert told the Examiner, "No pipeline is free of imperfections," and it is apparently not uncommon for a flaw to go unnoticed for six decades.
Anyhow — remember, contractors: Always call before you dig. (And, you know, after you dig and hit something metal and pipe-like.)