PG&E to pay $70 million to victims of San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and fire

Julie Small/KPCC

The San Bruno blast site, nine months after the explosion that killed 8 people.

Julie Small/KPCC

The site of the explosion, separated from the rest of the drive by safety cones.

Julie Small/KPCC

A sign marking the Glenview Fire Incident.

Julie Small/KPCC

One of the houses effected, now boarded up.

Julie Small/KPCC

"Damage to Roof" in the house which fell victim to a gas explosion.

Pacific Gas & Electric will pay $70 million to victims of the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and fire.

The money will be used to establish a non-profit to help victims of the 2010 blast and fire in the San Francisco suburb.

Eight people perished when PG&E’s natural gas pipeline burst and the resulting fire engulfed a canyon neighborhood. Dozens more people were seriously hurt.

The fire destroyed 38 homes.

Federal investigators blame PG&E for the incident, saying the utility failed repeatedly to monitor and maintain safety of its natural gas pipelines.

In January, California’s Public Utilities Commission voted to investigate whether PG&E broke any laws, but the state agency has since been criticized for lax oversight of PG&E.

Now the Commission may slap heavy fines on the utility within the next few months. In a recent report, agency staff condemned PG&E’s shoddy record keeping and a corporate culture that puts profits before public safety.

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