BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — It started out as a day of fun for the more than 1,000 spectators who gathered Saturday to watch the demolition of an old power plant in California’s Central Valley but it has turned into a nightmare.
One man had his leg severed and four others were also injured as shrapnel from the demolition flew into the crowd.
People gathered at 6 a.m., some sleeping in their cars overnight, in the nearby parking lot of a home improvement store in Bakersfield to watch the planned implosion of the decommissioned steam power plant.
After buildings came down in a fiery crash, a police officer heard a man screaming for help and saw that his leg had been blown off. The 44-year-old victim also had major injuries to the other leg, and may lose it as well.
A Kern County Fire engineer says four other spectators were treated for minor injuries. He says all of the injured spectators were standing beyond a perimeter set up to ensure public safety.