Suit blames PG&E for gas explosion

Oct. 6, 2010 at 9:44 AM
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SAN BRUNO, Calif., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Pacific Gas and Electric is called on to hand over $100 million to a victims fund because of negligence in a deadly California gas explosion, a lawsuit claims.

A natural gas pipeline burst Sept. 9, sparking a massive fireball that ripped through a San Bruno, Calif., neighborhood. The explosion killed seven people and destroyed 37 homes. Authorities say internal pipeline corrosion may have led to the failure of the pipeline.

A Sept. 17 lawsuit blamed the utility company for the explosion. A second suit filed by a San Bruno resident calls on PG&E to turn over the victims fund to an independent oversight board, The San Mateo County (Calif.) Times reports.

The class action suit filed by Daniele DiTrapani claims she was "injured and suffered damages" during the San Bruno explosion. It adds that the region was contaminated by "debris, ash and toxins" that came from the explosion.

PG&E said it hasn't seen the Sept. 29 suit yet, adding through a spokeswoman that the company is focusing its energy on "helping the San Bruno community recover from this tragedy," the report adds.

Crews in the area have razed 18 homes damaged by the explosion.

PG&E President Chris Johns told a U.S. Senate panel on pipeline safety last month that additional safety and testing benchmarks warranted "additional discussion" by pipeline regulators.

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