The controlled implosion of an old power plant in Bakersfield, Calif., Saturday sent debris flying into a group of onlookers, causing one man to lose his leg and four others to be injured.
“The [43-year-old] male victim suffered a traumatic partial amputation of one leg and major injuries to the other," a statement from the police department said.
A piece of metal about half a foot long and weighing a few pounds injured a spectator, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Bakersfield Police Lt. Scott Tunnicliffe said another spectator was seriously injured by pieces of metal ejected from the building site during the implosion.
Several thousand people had gathered outside the 1,000-foot perimeter to watch the demolition by Cleveland Wrecking Co., which was hired by Pacific Gas and Electric to do the job. The wrecking company said it is conducting a full investigation to determine the cause of the incident.