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PG&E Warns Pokemon Go Players To Avoid Power Plants

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. issued a warning to Pokemon Go players to avoid their facilities, following reports of players in other states going into power plants in search for the creatures.

In a statement on Tuesday, PG&E urged players "to exercise caution and be sure to catch their Pokémon at a safe distance from electric and gas facilities and equipment."

The utility cited recent incidents involving players of the augmented reality game, including an incident where three teens playing the game were reportedly stopped at a nuclear plant in Ohio. PG&E also said other utilities reported players "tailgating," where employees were being followed when they swipe in.

"Just because Pokémon shows up in a restricted area containing high-voltage equipment, doesn't mean you can. PG&E reminds customers that its electric and gas equipment is off limits to the public. Climbing a pole or hopping a substation fence is not only trespassing, it's also dangerous," PG&E Emergency Management Director Jason Regan said in the statement.

The game, in which players search for Pokemon in real world locations, has become a phenomenon since it was released on July 6th. San Francisco-based Niantic developed the game.

Pokemon Go's sudden popularity has led to players wandering into people's yards and into places many consider inappropriate for gaming, including cemeteries and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

PG&E's statement echoes warnings from other public agencies to avoid dangerous situations while playing the game. The New York subway issued a warning to players to avoid going onto tracks.

Meanwhile, Caltrans and the Arizona Department of Transportation warned players not to engage in distracted driving.

Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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