San Bruno blast victims press for open hearings


SAN FRANCISCO -- Victims of the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline blast urged California regulators Thursday to continue public hearings that will determine the amount of fines levied against Pacific Gas & Electric Co, the pipeline's owner.

For months, the California Public Utilities Commission has been holding public hearings over the Sept. 9, 2010, explosion that killed eight people, injured others and destroyed dozens of homes.

But an administrative law judge decided Monday to put the hearings on hold until Oct. 15 so he could consider a request for a longer suspension.

Rene Morales, whose daughter, Jessica, died in the explosion, urged the commission to continue open hearings at its Thursday meeting. She says reopening the hearings and holding them in public would show the commission's commitment to a fair process.