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San Bruno families sue PG&E

Oct. 20, 2010 at 9:45 AM

SAN BRUNO, Calif., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Families affected by a deadly gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., filed lawsuits against utility company PG&E, saying the company knew a pipeline was faulty.

A natural gas pipeline burst Sept. 9, sparking a massive fireball that ripped through a San Bruno neighborhood. The explosion killed seven people and destroyed 37 homes.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board in a preliminary report found an electrical failure at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. facility caused a pressure surge in the pipeline just before the San Bruno explosion. The report added that it took more than five hours for the company to shut off the gas after the explosion.

The lawsuits say PG&E knew the pipeline was "defective," the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reports. PG&E in its internal document said a section of the pipeline, Line 132, a few miles from the site of the explosion was at risk of failure, the newspaper adds.

The five lawsuits are calling for unspecified damages and call on the company to remove the idled pipeline from their neighborhood, a request backed by San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane.

"We want our neighborhood rebuilt, and we want our people back," the mayor was quoted as saying.

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