PG&E Prosecutor Ties 84 Deaths to Broken 97-Year-Old Metal Hook

(Bloomberg) -- To the California prosecutor who nabbed PG&E Corp. for the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history, the age of the utility’s equipment says a lot about its failure to prevent massive death and destruction.

Hours after the bankrupt company pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing 84 people, Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey released a 92-page report of his investigation finding that a broken metal hook supporting a high-voltage power line that started the 2018 Camp Fire was at least 97 years old. The tower that held pieces of PG&E’s equipment was about 100 years old, Ramsey concluded. The utility didn’t build the tower, and didn’t have records of the hook.

In essence, the prosecutor said, “PG&E blindly bought a used car. PG&E drove that car until it fell apart.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.