California News

Oct 11, 2012 7:57 PM by The Associated Press

Judge suspends hearings into Calif. pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two California judges are granting a request to temporarily suspend public hearings into a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion and instead hold closed-door negotiations on how much the pipeline's owner should pay in fines.

Victims of the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline blast urged California regulators earlier Thursday to continue the public investigative process, which will determine the amount of fines collected from Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

But later in the day, administrative law judges Mark Wetzell and Amy Yip-Kikugawa approved the California Public Utilities Commission safety division's request to put the hearings on hold until Nov. 1 to give the parties time to try to broker a settlement.

The Sept. 9, 2010, explosion killed eight people, injured others and destroyed dozens of homes. PG&E faces hundreds of millions in potential fines.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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