Sept. 9, 2010: a cool, breezy Thursday evening, not much different from most other weekday nights in San Brunos Crestmoor neighborhood. Residents were arriving home, making dinner, hanging out with their families. Then, at the corner of Glenview Drive and Earl Avenue, came a blast so powerful that one resident said it sucked all the air from her living room.

The fireball that soared into the sky at 6:11 p.m. instantly transformed the neighborhood into a scene of chaos, with people dashing from their homes, first to see what happened, then to try to escape with their lives.

When youre in a dream and you try to run as fast as you can but feel like youre getting nowhere, like youre in quicksand thats how it felt, Earl Avenue resident Tammy Zapata said later.

In the 50 minutes before the explosion, technicians at the PG&E natural gas terminal in Milpitas and workers monitoring the companys pipeline network were dealing with a crisis.

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