Botched Bakersfield Power Plant Implosion Injures Spectators - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Botched Bakersfield Power Plant Implosion Injures Spectators

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KMPH) -

Spectators on Saturday were eager to see the demolition of an old power plant in Bakersfield -- until the event turned into a nightmare.

Officials say public safety perimeters were more than 1,000 feet from the site of the implosion,
and precautionary measures were enforced to prevent any mishaps.

But when the structures fell in a fiery crash, shrapnel from the Pacific Gas & Electric plant flew into crowds that were too close.

Tom Allen, of Pacific Gas & Electric, said that the steel and concrete structures fell just as anticipated.

"Working with the demolition specialist we had established a 1,000-foot safety perimeter," said PG&E spokesman, Denny Boyles. "Our property actually ended at about that point, and talking with police and fire department it appears that they were outside that safety perimeter."

Leland Davis, of the Kern County Fire Department, said they "bumped back "the established safe-zone.

"They were in the, what we classify it as, the minimum safe distance away from the blast-zone," Davis said.

Flying shrapnel severed one man's leg and four others were hurt.

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