Bakersfield Implosion Severs Man's Leg, Injures 2 Others (Video)

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 09:02 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A planned power plant implosion in Bakersfield, Calif., took a scary turn Saturday when a bystander more than 1,000 feet away lost part of his leg after being hit by a piece of flying shrapnel.

Two others were also injured.

Police and demolition crews had cordoned off a 1,000-foot safety perimeter for the hundreds of viewers and spectators outside the Kern Power Plant, but debris from the implosion flew beyond that, hitting cars and striking three people.

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"A male sustained a complete amputation," Lt. Scott Tunnicliffe with the Bakersfield Police Department told KGET.com. "Apparent complete amputation of one leg and possible amputation of the second."


Another man had a piece of metal lodged in his leg, but was treated on the scene by medical crews and released.

No information was provided about the third victim.

"Safety of the public and employees is our first priority at all times and we are deeply saddened that at least one individual suffered serious injuries," plant owner Pacific Gas & Electric said in a statement. "We will work closely with all investigating agencies and the third-party contractors who managed and carried out the demolition as they work to identify the cause of this accident."

Cleveland Wrecking Co., which was hired by PG&E to handle the demolition, also put out a statement about the accident.

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"This was a terrible accident, and our hearts go out to the individuals who were injured. We will be conducting a full investigation and will cooperate with the authorities. It would not be appropriate for us comment further at this stage."

Related stories:

Explosions Rock Propane Plant in Central Florida; Seven Injured

Texas Launches Criminal Probe Into Plant Explosion

Mayor: 6 Dead in Philadelphia Building Collapse  

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