A Bakersfield plant demolition went awry on Saturday morning when the planned explosion of a PG&E plant sent debris flying into a crowd of onlookers, tearing off the leg of a 44-year-old man.
The plant explosion was caught on video from several of the onlookers, including one person standing next to the man who lost his leg. On the video, a large explosion is heard as the building begins to fall several hundred yards away, but in the corner of the screen a small and very fast-moving piece of debris is seen flying toward the crowd.
The debris makes an audible clank as it hits the metal fence, and the seven-second video cuts out just as someone nearby shouts “Oh my God!”
The victims of the Bakersfield plant demolition were standing across the street at a Lowe’s parking lot, at a distance that appears should have been safe. A witness who claimed to be among the crowd watching at Lowe’s posted a harrowing account of the explosion on Reddit’s /r/Bakersfield message board.
The witness wrote:
“We were located on the Lowe’s side, behind the canal. I am very shaken up. The building was falling, I see a piece of debris (looked like a chunk of metal) fly towards us like a bullet. A moment later I hear his girlfriend scream and he started screaming. I called 911 and police showed up very quickly. He started bleeding out on the concrete. I think, hope, and pray that he makes it out ok. I feel he would seeing that all the emergency personnel were at location. I am extremely shaken up. To tell your family you love them.”
Several spectators were treated for minor cuts and bruises, and cars parked in the area were also damaged.
On Saturday footage of the plant explosion emerged, with the Bakersfield Californian posting slow-motion footage showing the building falling outward after the blast.
Another video taken next to the man who lost his leg shows a short but panicked scene as the debris shot through the crowd. Though the video does not show the man or his injuries, it is still disturbing.
The man who lost his leg from debris in the Bakersfield plant demolition was airlifted to a hospital in Fresno. Doctors said he may lose his other leg as well.