USA – The giant California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. had its stock price plunge by more than 20 percent on Monday in the wake of reports that the company is exploring a possible bankruptcy over possible claims tied to the deadly wildfires.
San Francisco-based PG&E sold at $18.93 a share at the final bell, down 22.4 percent Friday’s closing price of $24.40.
That is down 60 percent from its stock price of $48.80 on Nov. 7, the day before the deadly Camp Fire ignited in Northern California.
Several plaintiffs have claimed that improperly maintained power lines operated by PG&E caused the massive blaze. Among the claims are that rings linking power lines either fell or broke off on a 75-foot-tall tower, allowing a live wire to come loose near where the fire started on the morning of Nov. 8.
A representative for PG&E could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
Reuters reported Friday that PG&E — which could face billions of dollars in claims if found liable — is considering filing for bankruptcy protection.
The wildfire allegations come on top of the company’s being found criminally liable in 2017 for a gas line explosion in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno in 2010 that killed eight people.