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Panel Blasts PG&E And State Regulators

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Huge Explosion Rocks Area Near San Francisco International Airport
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A high-level, independent probing last year’s deadly California pipeline explosion says urgent reforms are needed to fix ongoing problems at the pipeline company and inside a state utility commission.

Panelists told the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday that the blast was a consequence of multiple management and oversight weaknesses at Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

The panelists also say the utility commission lacked the resources to monitor the company’s pipeline safety work and failed to pay enough attention to concerns about PG&E’s performance.

The Sept. 9 explosion in San Bruno killed seven people and sparked a fireball that torched 38 homes in the hills overlooking San Francisco Bay.

PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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