Explosives ruled out in San Juan explosionNovember 27, 1996
Web posted at: 10:30 p.m. EST
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CNN) -- Investigators ruled out explosives Wednesday in a fatal blast that destroyed a six-story building, but pressure tests showed a propane pipeline that runs in front of the structure had been damaged.
Tests conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms failed to turn up any explosives residue, Bob Bartlett of the National Transportation Safety Board said.
"The next test will involve filling that pipe with helium to determine where the pipe has been damaged," Bartlett said. It was unclear whether the pipeline was damaged before, during or after the blast.
At least 27 people died in last Thursday's blast. The Federal Emergency Management Agency stopped rescue operations Wednesday, because officials said the wreckage had become too unstable to continue operations.
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