Gas line explodes, sparks fire in San Francisco; 8 workers found safe, officials say

Approximately 3,000 people were without power in San Francisco, California on Wednesday after construction workers ruptured a gas line while working on the street, officials said.

A fire was reported just before 1:20 p.m. local time, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters. She said it's believed the workers were "doing some fire optic work in the street that might've breached a gas line."

Eight construction workers near the scene were accounted for and uninjured, the fire chief said, adding there have been no reports of injuries. Authorities initially said that five of the workers were missing.

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Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) shut the gas off as fire officials evacuated a 1-block radius around the explosion that officials said set fire to five buildings. Crews are still working to extinguish the flames.

Firefighters battle a fire on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco, California on Wednesday.

Firefighters battle a fire on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco, California on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

"It's pretty dramatic, but we have [a] pretty good handle on it," Hayes-White said.

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The company is under heightened scrutiny over its gas pipelines. A U.S. judge fined the nation's largest utility $3 million for a conviction on six felony charges of failing to properly maintain a natural gas pipeline that exploded under a neighborhood south of San Francisco in 2010.

The explosion killed eight people and wiped out a neighborhood in suburban San Bruno. California regulators also fined PG&E $1.6 billion, and the utility remains under a federal judge's watch in that case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.