Prosecutor begins PG&E trial with blistering opening statement – SFGate

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Photo: Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

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A criminal trial against PG&E began Friday, June 17, 2016, with opening statements from a federal prosecutor, who charged that the utility made a deliberate choice to skirt safety regulations after a pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., in September 2010. A PG&E attorney told the jury that the company’s practice is to put safety first. In this file photo, a fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno after the explosion. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) less
A criminal trial against PG&E began Friday, June 17, 2016, with opening statements from a federal prosecutor, who charged that the utility made a deliberate choice to skirt safety regulations after a pipeline … more

Photo: Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

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Homes burn in a neighborhood off of Sneath Lane after an explosion, Sept. 9, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Homes burn in a neighborhood off of Sneath Lane after an explosion, Sept. 9, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Adm Golub, The Chronicle

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Firefighters fought to protect homes on Vermont Street in San Bruno. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Firefighters fought to protect homes on Vermont Street in San Bruno. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Fire fighters from Pacifica watched in awe of the destruction before them. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Fire fighters from Pacifica watched in awe of the destruction before them. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Homes burn at the intersection of Claremont and Fairmont in San Bruno, Calif., after a Pacific Gas & Electric Company gas pipeline ruptured and exploded on September 9, 2010, killing 8 people and destroying 38 homes. less
Homes burn at the intersection of Claremont and Fairmont in San Bruno, Calif., after a Pacific Gas & Electric Company gas pipeline ruptured and exploded on September 9, 2010, killing 8 people and destroying 38 … more

Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova, The San Francisco Chronicle

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A helicopter works to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

A helicopter works to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

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An entire street of houses burned as night fell. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

An entire street of houses burned as night fell. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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A firefighter battles a widespread fire in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

A firefighter battles a widespread fire in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Noah Berger, Special To The Chronicle

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Firefighters battle a widespread fire in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Firefighters battle a widespread fire in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Noah Berger, Special To The Chronicle

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A wheelchair-bound resident is evacuated as homes burn in a neighborhood off of Sneath Lane after an explosion, Sept. 9, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

A wheelchair-bound resident is evacuated as homes burn in a neighborhood off of Sneath Lane after an explosion, Sept. 9, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Adm Golub, The Chronicle

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Fireman on Claremont Drive in San Bruno tried to fight a fire which had burned down the neighborhood. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010. less
Fireman on Claremont Drive in San Bruno tried to fight a fire which had burned down the neighborhood. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday … more

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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San Bruno, Daily city and San Francisaco Fire personal work to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

San Bruno, Daily city and San Francisaco Fire personal work to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

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Cars and homes lie burned out in San Bruno, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Cars and homes lie burned out in San Bruno, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova, Special To The Chronicle

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A home burned as the sun set on a San Bruno neighborhood. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

A home burned as the sun set on a San Bruno neighborhood. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Fire fighters from around the Peninsula battled the blaze. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Fire fighters from around the Peninsula battled the blaze. A blast believed to be caused by a natural gas explosion destroyed a San Bruno, Calif. neighborhood Thursday September 9, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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South San Francisco firefighters work to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

South San Francisco firefighters work to contain a fast moving fire caused by an explosion in a San Bruno nighborhood Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

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A for sale sign stands among flattened homes in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

A for sale sign stands among flattened homes in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Noah Berger, Special To The Chronicle

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Millbrae fire chief Dennis Haag at a press conference at the Bayhill shopping center in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, September 9, 2010.

Millbrae fire chief Dennis Haag at a press conference at the Bayhill shopping center in San Bruno, Calif., on Thursday, September 9, 2010.

Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

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A fire burns among homes in San Bruno, Calif. with San Francisco Airport and the East Bay in the background, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

A fire burns among homes in San Bruno, Calif. with San Francisco Airport and the East Bay in the background, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.

Photo: Adam Lau, The Chronicle

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Rene Morales mourns at her daughter’s, Jessica, funeral.

Rene Morales mourns at her daughter’s, Jessica, funeral.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The San Francisco Chronicle

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Emergency crews pump water from a crater in San Bruno, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion destroyed dozens of homes Thursday night.

Emergency crews pump water from a crater in San Bruno, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion destroyed dozens of homes Thursday night.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

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Federal investigators examine a 40-foot section of pipeline on Glenview Drive in San Bruno, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Four people were killed and more than 35 homes destroyed after the pipeline exploded creating a large crater (background). less
Federal investigators examine a 40-foot section of pipeline on Glenview Drive in San Bruno, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Four people were killed and more than 35 homes destroyed after the pipeline … more

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

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A view of the wreckage in San Bruno is seen on September 10, 2010. Many people had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night.

A view of the wreckage in San Bruno is seen on September 10, 2010. Many people had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night.

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Damaged cars in the driveway of a home on Glenview Drive in San Bruno on Saturday.

Damaged cars in the driveway of a home on Glenview Drive in San Bruno on Saturday.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

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Authorities search through the rubble of a home on Glenview Drive in San Bruno on Saturday.

Authorities search through the rubble of a home on Glenview Drive in San Bruno on Saturday.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

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Fire crews put out hot spots at a home in San Bruno, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 that was destroyed after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night.

Fire crews put out hot spots at a home in San Bruno, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 that was destroyed after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

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Firefighter Nick Olivera cools down as he puts out burning embers in the homes along Fairmont, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Firefighter Nick Olivera cools down as he puts out burning embers in the homes along Fairmont, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Sheriffs and inspectors walk with a cadaver dog out Glenview Drive, looking for bodies, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Sheriffs and inspectors walk with a cadaver dog out Glenview Drive, looking for bodies, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Firefighters, frames throw a burnt out car, put out burning embers, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, along Glenview Drive in Sa Bruno, Calif.

Firefighters, frames throw a burnt out car, put out burning embers, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, along Glenview Drive in Sa Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane speaks at a press conference September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. A massive explosion rocked a neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport, destroying 53 homes, killing at least 4 people, and injuring more than 50. less
San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane speaks at a press conference September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. A massive explosion rocked a neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport, destroying 53 homes, … more

Photo: Max Whittaker, Getty Images

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San Bruno, Calif., resident Lester Vaccari, bottom, listens to find out when he can return to his home following a massive gas explosion, during a news conference at a shopping center in San Bruno, Calif., Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. Fire crews sprayed wateron smoldering homes Friday morning after a massive explosion apparently triggered by a broken gas line sent flames roaring through a neighborhood near San Francisco, killing at least six people and injuring dozens, officials said. less
San Bruno, Calif., resident Lester Vaccari, bottom, listens to find out when he can return to his home following a massive gas explosion, during a news conference at a shopping center in San Bruno, Calif., … more

Photo: Eric Risberg, AP

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Firefighters and police officers dig through the debri looking for bodies, from last nights inferno, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.Firefighters and police officers dig through the debri looking for bodies, from last nights inferno, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. less
Firefighters and police officers dig through the debri looking for bodies, from last nights inferno, Friday Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.Firefighters and police officers dig through the debri looking … more

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Karen Frechette expresses her frustration on not being allowed to see if her house or pets survived an explosion September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. Thirty eight homes were destroyed and four people were killed whena Pacific Gas and Electric gas main blew up in a San Bruno, California neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport on Thursday evening. less
Karen Frechette expresses her frustration on not being allowed to see if her house or pets survived an explosion September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. Thirty eight homes were destroyed and four people … more

Photo: Max Whittaker, Getty Images

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Volunteers are seen outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. Many families had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night. less
Volunteers are seen outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. Many families had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday … more

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Food for pets is among the donations at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a confirmed 4 fatalities, and displacing many familes. less
Food for pets is among the donations at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a confirmed 4 fatalities, and … more

Photo: Adm Golub, The Chronicle

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Two unidentified people wait at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a confirmed 4 fatalities, and displacing many families. less
Two unidentified people wait at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a confirmed 4 fatalities, and displacing … more

Photo: Adm Golub, The Chronicle

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Unidentified people hug as they reunite the day after the explosion at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a confirmed 4 fatalities, and displacing many families. less
Unidentified people hug as they reunite the day after the explosion at the San Bruno Recreation Center, Sept. 10, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. An explosion destroyed a reported 38 homes damaging more, causing a … more

Photo: Adm Golub, The Chronicle

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Residents displaced by the fiery blast leave a bus after being briefed on services at the Bay Hill shopping center in San Bruno.

Residents displaced by the fiery blast leave a bus after being briefed on services at the Bay Hill shopping center in San Bruno.

Photo: Liz Hafalia, The San Francisco Chronicle

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Betti and Bill Magoolaghan, who have a home red-tagged inside the San Bruno burn area, were reunited with their dog Friday afternoon at the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo. Their dog, Sharpee, did not follow them as they evacuated after the natural gas line explosion and was found inside their home on Claremont Drive. less
Betti and Bill Magoolaghan, who have a home red-tagged inside the San Bruno burn area, were reunited with their dog Friday afternoon at the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo. Their dog, Sharpee, did not … more

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

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Evacuees Melah Alash and her 9-year-old daughter, Sara, pick up some donated items at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center after evacuating their San Bruno home.

Evacuees Melah Alash and her 9-year-old daughter, Sara, pick up some donated items at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center after evacuating their San Bruno home.

Photo: Susana Bates, The San Francisco Chronicle

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Julio (left) and his mother Antonia Locon (in red) are seen outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 7, 2010. Their family had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night. less
Julio (left) and his mother Antonia Locon (in red) are seen outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 7, 2010. Their family had to evacuate their home after a massive … more

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Dana Coffin uses a free cell phone to make a call to tell his friends what is happening to him at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. His home was evacuated due to a major explosion last night. less
Dana Coffin uses a free cell phone to make a call to tell his friends what is happening to him at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. His home was evacuated due to … more

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Julio Locon (right) gets information at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 7, 2010. His family had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night. less
Julio Locon (right) gets information at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 7, 2010. His family had to evacuate their home after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion … more

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Patty Gillen-Rizzo and Tim Gillen look over a list of damaged homes outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. Their parents home is not included on the list.

Patty Gillen-Rizzo and Tim Gillen look over a list of damaged homes outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. Their parents home is not included on the list.

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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Margarita Astudillo kisses her baby outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. She had to evacuate the home she was staying at after a massive natural gas pipeline explosion Thursday night. less
Margarita Astudillo kisses her baby outside the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center in San Bruno on Friday September 10, 2010. She had to evacuate the home she was staying at after a massive natural gas … more

Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle

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PG&E workers were busy with power line completion, this one being on Glenview Drive. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

PG&E workers were busy with power line completion, this one being on Glenview Drive. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Captain Bill Forester of the San Bruno fire department, one of the first on the scene, was shocked when they discovered there was no water in the local hydrants. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010. less
Captain Bill Forester of the San Bruno fire department, one of the first on the scene, was shocked when they discovered there was no water in the local hydrants. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. … more

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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County fire officials looked over a burned up car on Claremont Drive as they walked the burned out neighborhood. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010. less
County fire officials looked over a burned up car on Claremont Drive as they walked the burned out neighborhood. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences … more

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Friends and family gather at the vigil for Jacqueline and Janessa Greig, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010, at the Saint Cecilia’s Church in San Francisco, Calif. The mother and daughter were killed last Thursday when the gas line exploded in San Bruno, destroying 37 homes and killing 4. less
Friends and family gather at the vigil for Jacqueline and Janessa Greig, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010, at the Saint Cecilia’s Church in San Francisco, Calif. The mother and daughter were killed last Thursday when … more

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Friends and family gather at the vigil for Jacqueline and Janessa Greig, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010, at the Saint Cecilia’s Church in San Francisco, Calif. The mother and daughter were killed last Thursday when the gas line exploded in San Bruno, destroying 37 homes and killing 4. less
Friends and family gather at the vigil for Jacqueline and Janessa Greig, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010, at the Saint Cecilia’s Church in San Francisco, Calif. The mother and daughter were killed last Thursday when … more

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, (center) is joined by the Secretary of California Emergency Management Agency, Matt Bettenhausen, (left) along with other officials, as they visit the site of last weeks natural gas explosion on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif. less
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, (center) is joined by the Secretary of California Emergency Management Agency, Matt Bettenhausen, (left) along with other officials, as they visit the site of last weeks natural … more

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

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The backyards of some destroyed homes on Concord Street. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

The backyards of some destroyed homes on Concord Street. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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On Claremont Drive, a sign thanking firemen and police officers. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

On Claremont Drive, a sign thanking firemen and police officers. First responders to the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion talked about their experiences Tuesday September 14, 2010.

Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

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Workers from Vanderbuilt Construction secure the properties by boarding up windows of the homes that are red tagged from last weeks explosion, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Workers from Vanderbuilt Construction secure the properties by boarding up windows of the homes that are red tagged from last weeks explosion, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Police officer patrol the explosion site, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Police officer patrol the explosion site, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Robin Melendez react as she thinks of how close her home was to last weeks inferno, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.” I literally thought I was going to die, but my father is my angel and saved me,” said Robin. Her father died July 26th of this year. less
Robin Melendez react as she thinks of how close her home was to last weeks inferno, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010, in San Bruno, Calif.” I literally thought I was going to die, but my father is my angel and saved me,” … more

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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Residents got a chance to see the sight where their home once stood, Monday Sept. 13, 2010, as the police escorted them through the neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. These residents homes were red tagged after the explosion.Residents got a chance to see the sight where their home once stood, Monday Sept. 13, 2010, as the police escorted them through the neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. These residents homes were red tagged after the explosion. less
Residents got a chance to see the sight where their home once stood, Monday Sept. 13, 2010, as the police escorted them through the neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. These residents homes were red tagged after … more

Photo: Lacy Atkins, The Chronicle

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