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Boom! (courtesy

” Pacific Gas & Electric Co. investigators were at the scene Saturday of a natural gas pipeline blast at a sheriff’s gun range, as four of the 11 people injured in the explosion were released from the hospital,” reports. “The victims included two Fresno County sheriff’s deputies, a public works employee and eight jail inmates. . . Friday’s explosion on a PG&E pipe occurred at the Fresno County sheriff’s gun range while the county employee was using a front-loader to build a dirt berm to confine gunfire to the range, sheriff’s officials said. A group of county jail inmates was doing cleanup work about 50 feet away.” It’s always something.

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  1. Do I understand this story correctly? A County employee was using a machine (not a hand tool) to dig in a place he had not first cleared by calling 811?

    Oh; yes, I forgot. As a government employee he is an “Only-One” exempt from the rules-of-procedure to identify buried utilities before digging. It’s OK then; nothing to see here; just move along folks.

    • Nah. Ill bet the line WAS marked, but it’s tough to see from up on the machine. Which is why you ought to have a ground man with a probe helping the operator out. There either was no ground man on the work order, or he wasn’t doing his job. Thats my guess, anyway.

      I got some buddies that shoot at this range sometimes. I think it’s near 99 and Herndon.

      • If its anything like it is here in Alabama, I highly doubt that they had a locate. I know from experience (I’m a locate technician covering several counties) that the counties rarely call in a ticket for anything off the road

      • I used to shoot here, before the property switched hands from the non-profit to the Sheriff’s Office. Those dicks basically got the range for free and the first thing they did was heavily restrict the hours that non-LEO members were allowed to use the range. As in weekdays only when most folks are at work. I’m sure they want all non-LEO use gone completely but the memberships were already sold by the non-profit. In hindsight, I’m actually glad they did this. There is a chance that I would have been at the range when this explosion happened. I would often visit that range five or more times per week when in town, fifteen minutes from my house and usually lots of 223 brass from officer training.

        On a side note, apparently 400ft of nearby railroad track was destroyed/damaged in the explosion. My guess is that someone was sighting in one of those “dangerous assault weapons”. We were warned that they can “blow up railroads”.

  2. Great, pg&e pays out settlements to everyone in a 10 mile radius and my rates go up….again. just like San Bruno.

    Injured at a gun range in a freak-gas line-fight-accident

    • Just because you’re really, really, really ridiculously goodlooking doesn’t mean you can’t not cause a freak gasoline-pipe accident. There’s more to life than being ridiculously goodlooking — and I suspect this equipment operator is going to find out what that is.

  3. PG&E’s safety culture is not on a par with the safety culture of gun owners. San Bruno cost the company $1.6 billion in penalties. This failure won’t cost it as much, but it’s still going to cost plenty. As it should.

  4. i would think front end loaders should be banned, and registered, and only used by trained officers of the law.

  5. And this is exactly why Mom’s Demand Action for Tonka Toy Safety and Mayors Against Illegal Graders has been advocating for common sense construction equipment regulation. Universal background checks for equipment operators…common sense legislation to close the Craigslist loophole for construction equipment sales…limits on the capacity of buckets…

  6. I was gonna make a joke about things like this being why we need to ban AP ammo … but … nope, just can’t make it work. That only happens in the movies, anyway.

  7. I saw this reported on the big three networks. ABC and NBC called it “an explosion at a gun range!!!!!”. CBS correctly reported that a gas line that happened to be at a gun range was involved.

    Accurate, but not nearly as exciting.

  8. Sorry guys but my front loader went off by accident!!!! My hand was nowhere near the lever that controls the bucket.

  9. If Caltrans was nvolved, theg had four fat union guys supervising one another, for every one guy digging…

  10. I was to comment-then I realized I lost my backhoe bucket doodad in a freak boating accident I miss my Tonka.

    • Yea …right, I’m calling ATF on you…
      Associated Tonka Federation……….

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