Firms fined for Calif. plant implosion that hurt 5

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2014 at 8:18 am •  Published: February 4, 2014
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — 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.

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