skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Firms Fined For California Plant Implosion That Hurt 5

The state has cited and issued fines to two companies that worked as subcontractors on the implosion of a central California power plant whose shrapnel flew into a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators gathered to watch the spectacle. Five people were injured, including a man whose leg was severed.

The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal-OSHA, fined Dubois, Wyo.-based Demtech Inc. $14,000 and Lincoln, Calif.-based Alpha Explosives $14,400 for the same "serious" violations in the Aug. 3 demolition of the long vacant Pacific Gas & Electric plant, The Bakersfield Californian and KBAK radio reported Monday.

The companies failed to properly evaluate the dangers of the semi-gelatin dynamite and charges used in the demolition, the strength of the structural columns where the charges were placed and the size of the blast area, according to Cal-OSHA's investigation. Alpha got a slightly larger fine for lacking a permit, KBAK reported.

An agency spokesman told the Bakersfield Californian that no action will be taken against property owner PG&E or the Covina, Calif.-based primary contractor, Cleveland Wrecking Co. The agency also said that if the two subcontractors do not appeal their fines by Feb. 15, the investigation would be closed.

The newspaper could not reach representatives from either company for comment Monday afternoon, and after-hours phone messages left for each by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The crowd had gathered at 6 a.m. in the parking lot of a Lowe's Home Improvement store in Bakersfield, some sleeping in their cars overnight, to watch the planned implosion of the steam power plant that had been decommissioned for decades.

Please stay on topic and be as concise as possible. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Community Discussion Rules. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus