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Calif. examines firm behind dangerous demolition

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) – State officials are investigating the company that handled the demolition of a Central California power plant where five spectators were injured.

The state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health said Monday that it’s looking into whether Alpha Explosives broke any regulations Saturday when pieces of shrapnel flew into a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators during the plant’s demolition in Bakersfield.

The Lincoln, Calif.-based company was hired by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to manage the demolition of the plant’s boiler structures. The companies worked with local authorities to set up a safe perimeter 1,000 feet from the site.

Even though spectators stood beyond the safety perimeter, one man’s leg was severed by shrapnel and four other observers sustained minor injuries during the demolition.

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