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Apr 19, 4:37 PM EDT

Judge says prosecutors can't show exploded pipeline at trial

Before & after look at the San Bruno neighborhood.
A closer look at the San Bruno, Calif. pipeline explosion

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge says prosecutors at an upcoming criminal trial for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. cannot show jurors a segment of a pipeline that exploded in a San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood or discuss how many people were killed or homes destroyed.

U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson ruled Monday that viewing the pipe could create an emotional response in jurors.

Henderson said discussions about how many people died and homes were destroyed in the 2010 San Bruno blast as well as images of the explosion site could also unfairly prejudice jurors.

Prosecutors have charged PG&E with one count of obstructing investigators after the blast and multiple pipeline safety violations.

PG&E said in a statement its employees did not intentionally violate pipeline safety laws or obstruct an investigation.

A call to the U.S. Attorney's Office was not immediately returned.

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