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California Pipe That Blew Had Prior Leak

Nearly nine months after federal investigators began probing a deadly pipeline explosion near San Francisco, a California utility Pacific Gas & Electric quietly revealed its ruptured line had sprung a leak in a spot a few miles away years before.

National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman called Pacific Gas & Electric's recent disclosure of the 1988 gas leak "troubling" before she announced three new safety recommendations at a news conference in San Bruno.

She said the company appears to have replaced the leaking portion of the pipe. Company spokeswoman Brian Swanson did not immediately provide a response to an email seeking comment on Wednesday.

The board is still probing what caused the Sept. 9 explosion,which sparked a gigantic fireball that engulfed a San Bruno neighborhood and killed eight, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes.

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