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PG&E criminally charged in fatal pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pacific Gas and Electric has been charged with federal felony counts involving safety violations linked to a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The indictment filed Tuesday charges the utility with 12 felonies and accuses the company of violating numerous federal pipeline safety laws.

Federal prosecutors allege that PG&E knowingly relied on erroneous and incomplete information when assessing the safety of the pipeline that eventually ruptured, sparked a fireball and leveled 38 homes in San Bruno.

About a year after the explosion, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board found that these lapses by PG&E led to the blast.

PG&E Chairman and CEO Tony Earley says the company is holding itself accountable and is deeply sorry.