Victims of a deadly gas line explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes in San Bruno, Calif., in September have begun filing lawsuits against Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Among the plaintiffs is Susan Bullis, who told the San Francisco Chronicle she lost her husband, son and mother-in-law in the fire.
PG&E, which told the paper it had not yet received the lawsuits, is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) over the accident. Although a final report and a conclusive set of findings from the investigation are likely to be many months down the road, PG&E said it welcomes and appreciates the “painstaking efforts of NTSB experts to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this terrible accident.”
“It is critical to the people of San Bruno, our customers and the industry that we get to the bottom of this accident and take the necessary steps to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again,” the company said.
The company has offered up to $50,000 per victim of the tragedy to assist with recovery. Those who accept monies from the victim relief fund are not prohibited from filing lawsuits against the company.
Additionally, PG&E has established Pipeline 2020, a program with five areas of focus to strengthen the utility’s natural gas transmission system through a combination of targeted investments, research and development, improved processes and procedures, and tighter coordination with public agencies. “Going well beyond regulatory requirements, Pipeline 2020 will augment a series of safety and reliability initiatives that PG&E began or expanded in the wake of last month’s San Bruno tragedy,” the company said.
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