A Bakersfield implosion victim has lost a leg and could lose his other one after being hit by flying shrapnel after the planned demolition of a PG&E plant.
The man was part of a crowd gathered to watch the implosion of an old power plan in Bakersfield. The group had set up camp close to 1,000 feet away from the building in a Lowe’s parking lot, behind a safety perimeter set up by the demolition company hired by PG&E to blow up the plant.
But after the plant exploded it sent pieces of shrapnel that injured several people in the crowd. A 43-year-old man hit with a large piece of the shrapnel, partially amputating his leg.
The police department released a statement saying, “the male victim suffered a traumatic partial amputation of one leg and major injuries to the other.”
The Bakersfield implosion victim was taken to a nearby hospital and later taken by helicopter to Fresno. The man’s condition was not known, but authorities said he was still at risk of losing his other leg.
A spectator took the piece of shrapnel that injured the man, but police were about find another piece of metal that was close to two feet long and weighed several pounds.
A witness who was near the injured man later published an account of the accident on Reddit’s Bakersfield message board, saying the incident was very jarring.
The witness wrote: “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.”
Video of the Bakersfield implosion showed the piece of shrapnel that injured the man flying through the air at a high rate of speed, making a loud metallic clang as it ripped through a safety fence and went into the crowd.