Wildfire Deaths — California’s PG&E Faces Manslaughter Charges

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is going to face manslaughter charges over four deaths from a wildfire in Northern California that killed four people.

The fire in question is the Zogg Fire. It started in September of 2020 when a tree fell on a PG&E distribution line. It burned 88 square miles of the state just South of the Oregon border. Along with killing four people, the fire destroyed over 200 homes and businesses.

PG&E pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

A judge in Shasta County tossed out 20 charges but ruled last week that PG&E will go to trial on 11 felony and misdemeanor charges. Of those, some are for involuntary manslaughter.

At issue — say fire officials — is PG&E’s failing to remove the tree. It is one of two that was tagged for removal. In a news release, the company admits that its equipment caused the fire but says it did not commit a crime.

“We continue our work to make it safe and make it right, both by resolving claims from past fires and through our work to make our system safer every day,” the news release said.

No officials from PG&E will be tried when the case goes to trial. The company is on trial and not individuals within the company.

Source link: Associated Press — http://bit.ly/3HHlCMv

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