By Marc Garman
VIB has been contacted directly by a local resident and reliable source who personally called both PG&E and the Vallejo Police Department at 5:28 AM reporting a strong natural gas smell on Broadway @ Nebraska near Vallejo High School, the scene of a later natural gas explosion. The citizen who made the call was traveling in a car on Broadway at 25-30 mph through the intersection and was struck by a very strong natural gas smell described as “overwhelming.”
Via telephone, a PG&E representative indicated that personnel were dispatched at 5:52 AM to investigate the odor with personnel arriving on scene at 6:02 AM. A PG&E representative also indicated via telephone that the explosion was caused by a janitor “attempting to relight a heater.”
Questions remain as to what occurred between the earlier report of the gas odor/leak and the explosion at Vallejo High School which occurred slightly before 8:20 AM injuring two, almost 3 hours later. With calls reporting a gas leak, why were personnel allowed into the building? Especially if the odor was extremely strong even to passengers in passing cars. It seems unlikely that the incidents represent two separate but unrelated gas leak events. More on this apparent safety lapse as we receive information.
VHS image via Wikipedia