Five people were injured during the implosion of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Kern Power Plant in Bakersfield, California. Four of the five were treated for minor injuries, but one man lost his leg to the shrapnel created in the demolition of the power plant‘s boiler structures.
Hundreds gathered gathered as spectators for the demolition and were instructed to stay outside a 1,000-foot safety perimeter set up by local authorities and contractors hired by PG&E to perform the planned demolition.
PG&E released a statement on the accidents:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured during the demolition of the former Kern Power Plant this morning. 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. 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,” according to PG&E.
Flying debris, according to reports, also damaged several vehicles.
The Kern Power Plant operated from 1948 until 1985 when it went into stand-by status. It was permanently closed in 1995.
The power plant’s boiler structures were 140 feet high and supported four 200,000-gallon tanks. The disused power plant’s smokestacks and other major structures were toppled in June.