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/ Source: Associated press
SAN FRANCISCO – A US judge supervising a criminal case against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has asked the electricity company to explain his role in a forest fire that destroyed a city in northern California and killed near 90 people.
Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ordered PG & E in court to answer a series of questions about the safety of power lines and forest fires. He oversees the verdict and the jury's award against PG & E after the explosion of a gas pipeline that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco Bay Area eight years ago.
The investigators did not determine the cause of the fire that devastated the city of Paradise, destroying nearly 14,000 homes and killing at least 88 people. Speculation, however, focused on PG & E, who reported a breakdown around the time and set the fire on.
Another transmission line also malfunctioned shortly thereafter, which could lead to a second fire.
In Tuesday's report, Alsup said he wanted to know if the requirements of the sentence pronounced last year regarding the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion could "be involved" if the Reckless operation or maintenance of PG & E power lines lights a forest fire. He noted that the sentence required PG & E not to commit any additional crime.
Another judge ordered the public service to pay a $ 3 million fine and broadcast TV commercials outlining his convictions for pipeline safety. He also ordered an independent controller to monitor the safety of his pipeline system and put the company on probation for a period of five years.
PG & E spokeswoman Erin Garvey said the utility was aware of Alsup's notification and was reviewing it.
"We continue to focus on evaluating infrastructure, safely restoring food, where possible, and helping our clients recover and rebuild," she said. declared.
Alsup also asked what sentence requirements could be affected by "inaccurate, slow or unsuccessful PG & E" statements about forest fires "and the steps taken by the independent controller to improve the safety of the company. electricity and the reporting of power lines and forest fires.
The judge asked "an accurate and complete statement" about any role that PG & E could have played in the Northern California fire and all the other forest fires in California since its conviction.
Alsup's questions were also sent to the US Attorney's Office, which sued PG & E for the San Bruno explosion and the observer for pipeline safety.
Several fire victims sued the company, accusing its equipment of the fire.