PG&E has agreed to meet with San Bruno officials this week to resume negotiations with the city over millions of dollars in restitution the city is seeking for the fatal gas pipeline explosion in September 2010. Read update here.
The city of San Bruno said Wednesday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has broken off settlement talks with the city about a compensation fund for a gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Dozens more people were hurt in the blast.
San Bruno wants PG&E to make good on its promise to pay restitution for the September 2010 explosion that leveled a neighborhood.
City spokesman Sam Singer said PG&E broke off talks last week and made a call Wednesday for them to come back to negotiate in "good faith." City leaders echoed that charge Wednesday morning at a news conference in San Bruno.
PG&E spokesman Dave Eisenhauer disputes the claim. He said the company hasn't walked away from the talks, but he did not provide any specifics about the status of the negotiations. "We've been working with the city and the community and have been there supporting the city since this terrible accident,'' he said. "Our contact with the city is ongoing, it's constant.''
Any settlement would be in addition to a trust fund PG&E created to pay up to $70 million to help the city cover the cost of rebuilding.
Federal accident investigators lay the blame on PG&E for the explosion, saying a litany of failures led to the blast, which they concluded wasn't the result of a simple mechanical failure but rather an "organizational accident.''
Escaping gas fed a pillar of flame 300 feet tall for more than 90 minutes before workers were able to manually close valves that cut off gas to the ruptured pipeline. Investigators said the damage would have been less severe had automatic valves been in place.