Man's Leg Severed in Power Plant Implosion

One of 5 spectators injured in planned demolition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2013 5:05 PM CDT
The dust clears the two remaining towers of the old Kern Power Plant after the implosion knocked them to the ground.   (Autumn Parry)
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(Newser) – Five spectators were injured today after shrapnel was sent flying at the demolition of a decommissioned steam power plant in California's Central Valley, authorities said. More than 1,000 people had gathered at 6am in a nearby parking lot to watch the planned implosion at the plant owned by Pacific Gas and Electric in Bakersfield. After structures on the property came crashing down, a police officer at the scene heard a man screaming for help and saw his leg had been severed.

"It was a piece of shrapnel that came flying out of the explosion and came across and went through a couple of chain link fences, struck him and impacted into a vehicle," says the officer, adding the 44-year-old victim might lose his other leg as well due to his injuries. Four other spectators were treated for minor injuries. All of the injured spectators were standing beyond a perimeter set up to ensure public safety, says a county fire department engineer.

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