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Dog Electrocuted by Seattle Street Light Leads to Inspections & Fingerpointing

SEATTLE, WA – The City of Seattle has checked street lights since a dog was electrocuted on Queen Anne Hill last week. Now, there is finger-pointing over the inspection that was done years ago.

Lisa McKibbin’s dog, Sam, was killed on Thanksgiving when he stepped on a street light vault cover. Seattle City Light says a pinched wire and faulty grounding led to the danger. Since then, City Light says 20 similar street lamps and vault covers nearby have been checked and are now safe.

But, accountability for what happened remains unclear.

The decorative street lamps were installed by a private contractor four years ago. City Light says the Seattle Department of Transportation did the project inspection and gave it the OK.

“The Seattle Department of Transportation is responsible for street light inspection along street right of ways,” said Suzanne Hartman with City Light.

SDOT says they inspected it, but there’s no documentation and they don’t know what that inspection entailed.

Another dog owner, John McDowell, says his dog, Oslo, was injured by the same row of street lamps just the day before Sam was killed.

“I looked down and Oslo was flat on his belly. It seemed like he had no legs, he just collapsed and the yelping was horrific,” said McDowell.

The electric shock split the rubber on the shoe McDowell was wearing.

McKibbin has hired a lawyer and Queen Anne residents simply want to feel safe on their sidewalks.

“It could have been me. It could have been a child. It needs to be fixed and the community needs to be assured that the sidewalks are safe,” said McDowell.

City Light’s inspection of street lamps is going to go well beyond Queen Anne. Starting next year, all metal street lights — some of them 30 to 40 years old — will be checked for safety.

Story via http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-inspecting-street-lights-after-dog-electrocuted-111234454.html

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