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Cadaver dogs have had nine “hits” at seven homes in the San Bruno neighborhood where a gas pipeline exploded Thursday, but authorities are not yet adding to the total of four confirmed deaths because the scents could have come from dead animals or other sources, a San Mateo County coroner’s deputy said today.

At about 6:15 p.m. Thursday, a 30-inch PG&E steel gas transmission pipeline ruptured, causing a massive explosion and fire that killed four people and hospitalized 52 others.

Authorities said at a news conference this morning that two other people are unaccounted for in the Crestmoor Canyon neighborhood where 37 homes were destroyed and eight sustained major or minor damage.

Michelle Rippy, a senior coroner’s deputy, said cadaver dogs assisting in the search through the neighborhood have picked up the scent of nine deceased bodies, but because the scents could be from dead animals or people that have already recovered and identified, the death toll remains for now at four.

“Some (of the scents) may be people we haven’t found yet,” but that has yet to be determined, Rippy said.

The coroner’s office has identified three of the four people who are confirmed dead from the explosion. Jacqueline Greig, 44, and her 13-year-old daughter Janessa died, as did Jessica Morales, a 20-year-old woman who was at her boyfriend’s house when the fire ripped through the neighborhood.

The identity of the fourth body is not expected to be confirmed and released until at least Sunday, according to Rippy.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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