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Pacific Gas & Electric to appear in court on 12 criminal counts in fatal California pipe blast

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SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials are set to appear in court on Monday to face federal felony charges involving safety violations tied to a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

An indictment filed earlier this month charges the utility with 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws, which could carry a total possible fine of $6 million, or more if the court decides it somehow benefited financially from the disaster.

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

Nearly four years later, the neighborhood where eight died and dozens injured is still recovering.

The company will be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Monday in federal court in San Francisco.

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