State issues fines for PG&E plant demo that hurt spectators

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The state announced citations Monday stemming from this summer's injury-marred planned implosion of the Kern Power Plant.

The Aug. 3 demolition of the idled Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plant off Rosedale Highway drew crowds of spectators. Workers blasted two 45-foot boiler towers, and debris flew more than 1,000 feet into spectators to the east of the plant.

Five people were injured by flying shrapnel. Jerry Wood, 43, of Bakersfield, suffered extensive leg injuries.

Cal/OSHA had investigated three companies that worked on the demolition as subcontractors for PG&E.

The citations announced Monday mention only Demtech LLC and Alpha Explosives Inc. Cleveland Wrecking Co. is not listed in documents released by the Department of Industrial Relations.

Demtech received three citations totaling $14,000. They are for not effectively implementing procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards associated with using explosives, blasting without verifying that all personnel were outside the blast area or under sufficient cover, and not holding the proper permit for toppling a tall structure.

Alpha Explosives got two citations, both of $7,200. The state fined Alpha Explosives for the same reasons it fined Demtech, minus the lack of proper permit.