The aftermath of the 2010 gas pipe explosion in San Bruno that took the lives of 8 people continues today as PG&E officials appear in federal court this morning to face felony charges. The disaster was caused by an under-inspected, cracked pipe in a high-pressure natural gas pipeline that ran under a suburban neighborhood, and PG&E has previously been found liable for their failure to inspect and maintain the pipe in the years leading up to the tragic event. Now the mammoth company faces 12 felony counts for violating federal pipeline safety laws which would carry with them about $6 million in fines.
A federal probe by the NTSB earlier found that there were a "litany of failures" on the part of PG&E leading up to the pipe rupture and subsequent inferno on September 9, 2010. They were also found liable for the notably slow response on the day of the disaster, when it took a full 95 minutes to get the gas in the high-pressure pipeline shut off.
In total the fire destroyed 38 homes and injured 58 people, in addition to the 8 who were killed. Those who were here will remember the insane "geyser of fire" that shot up 30 or 40 feet from the ground, and there was plenty of time to photograph it since PG&E had such trouble accessing the shutoff valve.
This federal case comes in addition to fines PG&E has already paid the state, and many civil lawsuits that are still ongoing.