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SAN FRANCISCO – One of the country's largest utility companies is set to face a jury in a criminal trial accusing it of obstructing investigators in the wake of a deadly pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The September 2010 blast of a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. natural gas pipeline sent a giant plume of fire into the air in a neighborhood in San Bruno, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes. During the investigation that followed, prosecutors say the San Francisco-based utility misled federal officials about the standard it was using to identify high risk pipelines. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to start Thursday.
PG&E has pleaded not guilty to obstruction and other charges in the case.