The City of San Bruno has come out swinging against Pacific Gas and Electric Company today, and a few years in the wake of the giant explosion and fire that threatened to destroy San Bruno itself. I remember that day – Monday, September 9th at just after 5 PM – as I was at a local restaurant waiting for a friend to arrive and eating; the initial belief was that a plane crashed.
In the first video, PG& had said it would be accountable if it was shown they were at fault for the disaster.
Here’s a series of videos from that day:
CBS News, where PG&E said it would be accountable:
CBS Video which talks about PG&E’s repairs to a gas pipe that was very old:
Home catches fire, burns down:
First moments before and during gas explosion:
Eye-witness interviews of how the fire effected San Bruno residents, and discussion of an alleged PG&E cover up. Several residents said they could smell gas before the explosion:
In this Associated Press video, PG&E says it will assume civil liability for the San Bruno Gas Explosion:
Here’s San Bruno’s press release:
San Francisco—(15 February 2012)—The City of San Bruno today said Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has abdicated its responsibility to the San Bruno community by stalling negotiations to settle millions of dollars in restitution for its Sept. 9, 2010 explosion and fire that rocked this peninsula city, killing eight residents, destroying 38 homes, damaging another 70, and creating a giant hole in the heart of San Bruno.
San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane called upon PG&E to immediately return and bargain in good faith with San Bruno, but said the City is also pursuing a second, parallel path to get restitution and compensation from PG&E and its shareholders.
He announced today that San Bruno has formally petitioned the California Public Utility Commission to become part of a global settlement with the utility. He thanked the CPUC for extending an offer to San Bruno to join their settlement negotiations since the City’s effort has stalled.
“We have negotiated in good faith with PG&E to reach a fair settlement on the restitution that is due to our community,” said Mayor Ruane. “We are frustrated the company doesn’t seem to understand its negligence was responsible for the biggest natural gas disaster in our nation’s history and now they simply want to walk away after doing the minimum required by law. We will not let that happen.”
Mayor Ruane noted the utility did establish a trust to pay for direct damages to city property and has funded $12 million to date, but it appears “the company is unwilling to acknowledge the momentous damage it has done to the fabric of our community which will last for generations.”
He said San Bruno has suffered irreparable harm above and beyond the physical damage done to the City. He said San Bruno, much like the Gulf Coast after the BP spill, will always be known as the site of the worst natural gas explosion and fire in the United States “caused by a utility that placed stock buybacks and executive compensation above the safety of our citizens and the public.”
“PG&E has within its power the ability to make this right and the CPUC has within its power the ability to ensure that the company be forced to do so,” Mayor Ruane said. “The consequences of this tragedy will not fade. A generation ago the Bay Area suffered the Loma Prieta earthquake, and yet even today we are still rebuilding the Bay Bridge. The scars of PG&E’s explosion and fire will last and the San Bruno community needs to be healed.”
“We want PG&E to recognize and pay restitution for the great tragedy they caused in San Bruno and help restore our community and rebuild the faith of the public in their operations,” Ruane added.