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BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Pacific Gas & Electric Co., indicted by the federal government for criminal behavior stemming from a Bay Area natural gas explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, still faces more trouble. In the next few months, PG&E will face the likelihood of a fine from the California Public Utilities Commission as high as $2.25 billion for its role in the September 2010 disaster in the city of San Bruno. On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced that a grand jury indicted PG&E on 12 alleged violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act involving poor record keeping and faulty management practices.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was indicted Tuesday on a dozen felony counts connected to the massive 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people and ravaged a San Bruno, Calif., neighborhood. The utility was charged with violating federal pipeline safety laws, including failing to identify all potential threats to the aging, high-pressure line that sparked the disaster and not maintaining proper repair records, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | From a Times Staff Writer
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric was charged Tuesday with federal felony counts related to a deadly gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., in 2010. According to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office, a federal grand jury in San Francisco found that PG&E committed "multiple violations" of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and failed to identity problems with other pipelines in its system. PG&E faces 12 criminal charges. It faces fines of up to $500,000 for each charge, officials said.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Hundreds of people were being evacuated from Plymouth, Wash.,  a small town in southern Washington after an explosion and fire Monday morning at a natural gas processing facility left at least four people injured, according to the local sheriff. The blast, which brought reports of a fireball at least 30 feet high, happened around 8:20 a.m. at a facility owned by Williams, a Tulsa, Okla.-based energy company, Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane told the Los Angeles Times. At least one of those injured was a worker, said Keane, who didn't have information on the victims' conditions.
NATIONAL
March 31, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
The owner of a natural gas facility downplayed the danger to residents after an explosion at the facility injured four people and forced the evacuation of a small town in southern Washington on Monday morning. The processing facility is owned by Northwest Pipeline, a subsidiary of Williams Partners, a Tulsa, Okla.-based energy company. The facility is located 2 1/2 miles west of Plymouth, whose 300 to 400 residents were ordered to evacuate after the 8:20 a.m. blast. The company was investigating the cause of the explosion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday it expects federal officials to bring criminal charges against the company in connection with a deadly 2010 gas-pipeline blast in San Bruno, Calif. In a statement, PG&E said it is negotiating with the U.S. Attorney's office. The San Francisco-based company "now expects that the U.S. Attorney will charge that PG&E's past operating practices violated the federal Pipeline Safety Act in areas such as record keeping, pipeline integrity management and identification of pipeline threats," it said in a statement.
NATIONAL
March 13, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- The death toll from a gas explosion in Manhattan that leveled two buildings on a busy street rose to seven Thursday after rescue teams worked through the night searching for people trapped beneath rubble. Officials at the scene have not identified all of the victims, but at least three were women who lived in one of the collapsed structures. They included Carmen Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist who was in her apartment when the blast occurred; Griselde Camacho, 44, a public safety officer at Hunter College in Manhattan who had taken the day off; and  Rosaura Hernandez-Barrios, 21.  The block on 116th Street in east Harlem, where two five-story buildings blew up at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, remained closed nearly 24 hours later.
NATIONAL
March 13, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - The caller who reported a gas smell minutes before a deadly explosion that destroyed two Manhattan buildings had noticed the same odor the night before but did not report it at the time, officials said Thursday, indicating the catastrophe could have been averted if utility crews had been alerted earlier. At least eight people were killed in Wednesday morning's blast on Park Avenue, between 116th and 117th streets in East Harlem. In a biting wind and temperatures in the 20s, rescue workers continued searching for more people possibly buried beneath the rubble.
NATIONAL
March 12, 2014 | By Tina Susman and Michael Muskal
NEW YORK -- Damian Lopez said he was asleep in his apartment at 9:31 a.m. when he heard thunder. At least he thought it was thunder. "I heard the boom. But it was more like a rumble," said Lopez, who lives at 108th Street and Park Avenue, about eight blocks from where a gas leak caused a massive blast Wednesday. "I thought two things," he said. "That it could be thunder. But then it's always in the back of my mind, that it could be something wrong. " PHOTOS: Chaotic scene of building collapse Two buildings on Park Avenue in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan were substantially destroyed by an explosion and a five-alarm fire that burned through the morning.
NATIONAL
March 12, 2014 | By Michael Muskal and Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- An explosion that destroyed two buildings in a busy Manhattan neighborhood and killed at least two people was caused by a gas leak, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said Wednesday, and hours after the explosion, some people remained missing. De Blasio called the blast “a tragedy of the worst kind.” He said Con Edison workers had been alerted to the smell of gas and were headed to the scene at Park Avenue and 116th Street before the explosion about 9:30 a.m. EDT. “The explosion occurred before the team could arrive,” De Blasio said at a news briefing near the scene.
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