Several Injured by Debris in California Plant's Implosion

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. promised to work closely with investigating agencies and the contractors that carried out the demolition as they investigate the incident.

At least three people in a crowd watching the implosion of an abandoned steam power plant in Bakersfield, Calif., were hurt by flying debris from the blast around 6 a.m. Aug. 3, according to reports posted by The Bakersfield Californian and other media in the state. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. carried out the implosion as part of the process of dismantling the Kern Power Plant, which has been closed since 1995.

PG&E posted this statement on its website on Aug. 3: "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."

The media reports quoted a police lieutenant who said the most serious reported injury was to a man whose leg was amputated by flying shrapnel that struck him. The man may lose both legs because of his injuries, according to the newspaper's online account.

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