Local News

Monday, Aug 05 2013 09:33 AM

'First Look': 'We are deeply saddened,' PG&E spokesman says following injuries

  1. 1 of 5

    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    An explosion knocks down one of the remaining towers at the old Kern Power Plant at Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway in August. The demolition of the plant, which has been closed since 1995 after operating for about 37 years, was part of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s plan to sell the site for redevelopment.

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  2. 2 of 5

    By Louis Amestoy/ The Californian

    A Kern County firefighter washes away blood near where at least one person was critically injured by shrapnel from the implosion of PG&E's power plant along Rosedale Highway. The victim was standing just north of Jet Way and east of Coffee Road.

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  3. 3 of 5

    By Louis Amestoy/ The Californian

    A Kern County firefighter picks up articles of clothing and other items where at least one person was critically injured by shrapnel from the implosion of PG&E's power plant along Rosedale Highway on Aug. 3, 2013. The victim was standing just north of Jet Way and east of Coffee Road.

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  4. 4 of 5

    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    A worker takes a few last pictures of the two remaining towers at the old Kern Power Plant before the implosion on Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway early Saturday morning.

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  5. 5 of 5

    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Hundreds of people gather outside of Best Buy on Rosedale Highway around 5 a.m. as they wait to see the implosion of the old Kern Power Plant.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Following the injuries suffered by five people Saturday as shrapnel flew from the implosion of the Kern Power Plant, a PG&E spokesman on Monday said "we are deeply saddened this happened."

Denny Boyles expressed concern for the victims during a call to "First Look with Scott Cox."

He also said the California Public Utilities Commission is investigating what happened.

In advance of the implosion, PG&E had worked with law enforcement, the fire department and contractors to establish a 1,000-foot safe distance around the work. But shrapnel flew beyond those bounds.

Boyles said PG&E is focusing "our thoughts and prayers" on the injured.

He also encouraged anyone who was hurt, or suffered property damage, to contact the utility. Saturday and Sunday, PG&E representatives talked with businesses in the area, he said.

"We have reached out as much as we can," Boyles said.

He did not have an update on the status of those hurt, but officials have said a 43-year-old man was critically injured and would lose one leg, and maybe both.

Californian Editorial Page Editor Robert Price said taking down the plant was supposed to be an opportunity to get rolling on new development, and asked what still needs to be done.

Boyles said first the investigation into Saturday's events will be handled. Then there will be additional work to clean up the site and prepare it for development.

But right now, he explained, PG&E employees are focused on their desire to help.

 

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