More kablooey brought to you by PG&E

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By Rebecca Bowe

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A blast that occurred this morning at Fourth and Market in downtown San Francisco was caused by an explosion from a PG&E manhole cover. According to the Examiner:

“The Ross store lost power after the explosion, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said. PG&E is continuing to investigate the cause of the blast, he said. At least one building in the area appeared to have been evacuated ... Fourth Street was closed to traffic between Market and Mission streets and Muni lines 30, 45, and 9X were rerouted.”

The incident marks almost exactly one month since the last time underground PG&E infrastructure went boom. In the wake of that incident, Sen. Mark Leno announced that he planned to call on the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate PG&E’s service failures, including the Tenderloin explosion and fire. Here’s a snippet from Leno’s press release:

“The recent June 5 underground explosion and fire in the Tenderloin district impacted 8,600 PG&E customers, including many small and large businesses. The incident threatened the safety of PG&E workers, closed a busy San Francisco intersection for more than a week and disrupted service within a main artery of the city’s public transportation system. In his letter to the CPUC, Senator Leno asks the Commission to investigate whether PG&E has reimbursed businesses that have been impacted by outages. He also asks the CPUC what plans the utility has to improve its performance failure rate and what rate of failure is considered acceptable by the regulating agency.”

Leno also pointed out that the utility was asking the CPUC for a $2.2 billion rate hike to upgrade its grid.

To see a birds-eye view of the smoke billowing up onto the street earlier today, check out this guy’s post on Twitter.