State regulators have fined two subcontractors who planned the implosion of an old power plant in Bakersfield last summer that sent shards of debris into a crowd of spectators, severing one man's leg and injuring others.
Several thousand people gathered early on Aug. 3 outside a 1,000-foot safety perimeter to watch the planned implosion of a closed steam power plant owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Explosive charges placed at crucial points in the building were detonated in a pattern meant to bring it down on itself in a heap of rubble and a cloud of dust.
But pieces of metal flew from inside the plant during the implosion, striking a 43-year-old man and severing part of one of his legs, and seriously injuring another spectator, according to Bakersfield police.
At least two other people suffered minor lacerations from metal pieces. Vehicles parked nearby were hit with debris as well.
Cal/OSHA also determined that Demtech's actions also put two Bakerfield police officers and a worker with Cleveland Wrecking in danger, saying the firm failed to "effectively implement procedures to identify and evaluate" the workplace hazards associated with their method of demolition, according to the citation, which was issued on Thursday.
A representative for Demtech could not be immediately reached Tuesday, and a person reached at Alpha Explosives hung up the phone.
The two companies have 15 business days to appeal state regulator's decision.