San Bruno Explosion Victims React to PG&E Verdict - NBC Bay Area
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San Bruno Explosion Victims React to PG&E Verdict

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's been nearly six years since a PG&E pipe exploded, killing eight people and leveling a San Bruno neighborhood. But for Bob Hensel, it will forever be seared in his mind. Jean Elle reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016)

    It's been nearly six years since a PG&E pipe exploded, killing eight people and leveling a San Bruno neighborhood. But for Bob Hensel, it will forever be etched in his mind.

    "I was feeling completely lost," Hensel said. "Well, I lost everything."

    On Tuesday, a federal jury found PG&E guilty of six criminal charges, including one count of obstruction of justice during the investigation of the San Bruno explosion.

    Hensel, for one, is hoping the verdict will help improve gas pipeline safety.

    "I'm sure all the utilities in the U.S. are going, 'Wow we better get ahead of this.' Good for that; they can clean up their act," Hensel said.

    PG&E released a statement Tuesday, saying safety is a priority.

    "We want our customers and their families to know that we are committed to re-earning their trust by acting with integrity and working around the clock to provide them with energy that is safe, reliable, affordable and clean," the statement said.

    A federal judge will now decide the penalty PG&E must pay.

    "We hope the judge sends PG&E a message," said Marc Zafferano, San Bruno city attorney. It's not OK to risk people's lives by manipulating the data and misleading federal investigators."

    San Bruno city leaders are hoping for the maximum $500,000 for each guilty count. Victims say the verdict is a milestone, and now they want to move on. But it's not easy.

    Some parents say their kids are still in therapy because of anxiety that is related to the explosion.

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