An unidentified 44-year old man was a spectator during a controlled implosion when he was hit by debris and lost his leg, according to KDVR News of Bakersfield. The man was among what is thought to be among as many as five injured on the scene of the demolition of the Pacific Gas & Electric Plant. The man was heard by police screaming for help after several plant structures came down. Bakersfield Police Lt. Scott Tunnicliffe said the man “sustained an apparent complete amputation of one leg, and the possible amputation of a second.” His injuries were the most severe, and the implosion also managed to damage several cars, one of which was a police car.
According to Tunnicilffe, there were three separate viewing areas for those who wanted to watch the early morning demolition. However, Pacific Gas & Electric made it very clear that they had not set up any viewing areas for the implosion. The injured man as well as the others hurt in the blast were not in any of the viewing areas, but were still about 1,000 feet from the defunct four-story plant when this took place. Tunnicliffe also said that he thought that was a safe enough distance away.
The Kern Power Plant had been decommissioned since 1986. The injured man was airlifted to Fresno for treatment. Video footage of the implosion shows debris flying toward the area where the victim was thought to be standing. Police also stated that they were checking local hospitals to see if any of the injured were transported by private car, according to KGET News. A worker was also killed in the July 2012 dismantling of the power plant. Pacific Gas & Electric released a statement saying that the public’s safety was its first priority and vowed to work with any and all parties to find out the cause of the accident. The company said it is keeping the injured in its thoughts and prayers.