ASHBURN, VA. — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has been unable to provide federal investigators with records showing where it got the pipe that exploded in San Bruno, officials said Monday – a failure that has major implications for the company and other pipeline operators nationwide.

One day before the National Transportation Safety Board is to present its conclusions on what caused the San Bruno blast, agency Chairwoman Deborah Hersman expressed frustration about PG&E’s failure over the past year to produce records identifying the origin of the pipe that ruptured at a defective seam weld Sept. 9, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes.

PG&E’s inability to produce the records on the manufacturer of the 1956-vintage section of pipe was “one of the biggest difficulties for our investigators,” Hersman said.

PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson said the company’s search for the birth records on the San Bruno pipe is “still ongoing.”

Read more: San Francisco Chronicle August 29, 2011

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