Archive for January, 2011

Lineman Loses Hands In Electrical Accident

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Imagine waking up in a Denver hospital and finding that you no longer have hands.

That is exactly what happened to Samoana Matagi just before Christmas this past year. Sam was severely burned in an electrical accident while working as a lineman in a small Colorado town. Nearly 15,000 volts of unbridled electricity raged through Sam’s body, leaving his hands irreparably damaged.

One of the first people contacted about this tragedy was Sam’s older brother, Fatu Matagi. Fatu says that the phone call he received left him “feeling numb.” He immediately trekked from his home in Bountiful to the hospital in Denver where both of Sam’s deadened hands had been amputated at the mid forearm.

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Electrician Injured at Page Field Airport

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Fort Meyers, FL – One person has been transported to Lee Memorial Hospital following an electrical accident at Page Field Airport in Fort Myers.

Patrick Conran, spokesman for general contractor Owen-Ames-Kimball, said there was an electrical accident and an injury to one of the company’s electricians, but Conran didn’t yet know what happened.

 He said he was on his way to Page Field to get more information on the incident.

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Man Who Lost Both Arms In Electrical Accident Recovering

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Georgetown, Danvers, MA – On the day he came home from the hospital, about eight weeks after losing both arms in a horrific electrical accident on the job in September, Georgetown Electric employee Jim Young walked across the street to visit his neighbors in Merrimac.

Lisa O’Neil said she and her family were astonished and delighted to see him and gave him big hugs. O’Neil’s children are regular visitors at Young’s home.

“He treats my kids just like his kids,” said O’Neil, who is organizing a Jan. 22 fundraiser for Young. “They’re a great family, a great couple, and we really love them.”

Jim and his wife, Karen, have two young children, Griffin, eight, and Hilary, five.

Right after his return from the hospital, Young was also seen walking with his dog, Callie, in the mornings, the return of an early morning ritual for man and dog, said O’Neil.

“Callie did not see Jim for eight weeks while he was in the hospital,” said O’Neil. “Karen would put Jim on the speaker phone when he called from the hospital so Callie could hear his voice. She would get so excited; Callie missed her dad, too. When he came home just before Thanksgiving, Callie wouldn’t leave his side. The family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, a lot to be thankful for.”

Driven to recover

With fierce determination, the athletic Young, who coaches and officiates youth sports, concentrated on building up strength in his legs and learning to balance without arms. He started to walk the hallways and stairs in the hospital right away.

“I was in good shape before the accident, and my legs got strong when I was at Spaulding Rehab,” said Jim, who spent five weeks in Massachusetts General Hospital and three weeks at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. “They were pretty amazed at my balance. They were all very good to me. I have been doing 60 minutes a day on the treadmill at home. Before it got real cold, I went for one-and-a-half mile walks every day. Eventually, I’ll go back to the gym.”

Jim goes for physical therapy at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in Bradford three times a week. He is also acclimating himself to a complex prosthetic right arm with a hand he can open and close.

“I work with [the prosthetic arm] every day,” he said. “You get a little bit better every day.”

Jim has coached youth league sports and officiates college and high school basketball games all over New England.

“I really miss that,” said Jim,

Former Merrimac resident Carol Parker said Jim coaches her eight-year-old son Owen’s baseball team.

“He’s a great coach,” said Parker. “He does it for the love of the kids and the love of the game. He’s very gentle. Owen loves having him as a coach.”

As Jim inspires others, he said his wife, Karen, inspires him.

“My wife has been the one who has to do a lot more work, shoveling snow, cleaning, making meals and helping me out,” said Jim. “All the things she has to do — she’s a big inspiration to me.”

Karen said the family’s biggest need is the continued support of family, friends and neighbors.

“I don’t think I could get through what we are going through without their support,” said Karen.

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Man Loses Both Hands in Electric Shock Accident

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA – A man faces a bleak future when both his hands were amputated following a freak accident where he suffered electric shocks while plucking oil palm fruit at an estate in Tanjung Karang, two months ago.

Doctors, who are treating Muhamad Hairuman Miskon, 22, have decided to amputate both his hands below the elbow to avoid infection from spreading to other parts of his body.

Hairuman’s ordeal started on Nov 26, last year, when he was plucking oil palm fruit with a friend.

He was using a steel rod with a hook on one end to pluck the palm oil fruit, unaware that the leaves of the tree were wet from a downpour the night before and were touching a nearby high-voltage electric cable.

As soon as the rod touched the wet leaves, he suffered shocks and was thrown off about 5m.

Hairuman suffered more than 50 per cent burns to his body, with both his hands totally charred.

Since the accident, the victim had been admitted to several hospitals in Tanjung Karang and Sungai Buloh before he was transferred to Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital on Monday.

His elder sister, Maryuni Miskon, 32, said doctors told the family that both of his hands had to be amputated because they were completely burnt.

“I agree with the surgery if it will help to save his life. At the same time, I’m also wondering how Hairuman will make a living without his two hands,” said Maryuni.

She added that Hairuman used to do wiring jobs before the incident.

She also said she had spent thousands of ringgit on Hairuman’s medical expenses since the accident.

Members of the Committee of Community Services and Rakan Muda of the Malaysian Youth Council visited Hairuman yesterday.

Its chairman, Rizan Hassan, urged members of the public and non-governmental organisations to offer financial assistance to help ease the victim’s financial burden.

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Man Electrocuted by Lamp Post in Eygpt

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Minya, Eygpt – Two people died and 43 others were injured countrywide on Tuesday due to poor weather conditions. The bad weather also caused the collapse of three homes and the destruction of hundreds of acres of farmland.

In Minya, a 21-year-old man died after being electrocuted by a lamppost.

Low Investment Leading to Electrical Accidents

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

CUU LONG DELTA, VIET NAM — Negligence and the use of electricity to trap rats or catch fish have claimed the tragic deaths of many people in rural areas. But electricity companies said the underlying problem was low investment and lack of maintenance of low and medium voltage electricity grids.

Angry with the infestation of rats on his rice field, farmer Nguyen Thanh Long in Dong Thap Province’s Hung Dong hamlet electrified a rice field with fuse wire to destroy the rodent infestation.

Unfortunately, Long himself was electrocuted when hunting for frogs on the night of January 1, 2010.

Another victim Nguyen Ut Muoi was also electrocuted recently in Dong Thap Province. The man was using electricity to kill rats as they had been eating his ducks.

Electrocution also killed Le Thanh Hat in Soc Trang Province’s Ngoc To Commune when he was trying to move an electricity wire connected from the power grid to his house to a higher place.

Statistics released by the communal People’s Committee showed at least four people had been electrocuted because of negligence in the past two years.

Committee chairman Nguyen Trung Thanh said thousands of households had illegally connected electricity lines to shrimp ponds for lighting and powering water pumps.

The chairman admitted the number of electrical accidents had not decreased despite the local authority continuing to educate people about electrical safety measures.

An official from Dong Thap provincial Electricity Company Vo Van Hong blamed the unsafe condition of the rural power grid as a major cause of electrical accidents in addition to the negligence of the locals.

Although official figures about the number of electrical accidents are not available, Hong said accidents had plunged since the company took over the control of provincial power grid from local government and co-operatives.

“The company has regularly upgraded and repaired the provincial grid,” he said.

Only one commune out of 144 has not yet been put under the company’s control.

Management over low and medium voltage electricity grids had for a long time been mostly under the responsibility of local authorities and co-operatives.

Hong said these power grids had been seriously downgraded because of a lack of investment and repairs. They also failed to be constructed using proper safety standards. The wiring lacked the capacity to cope with high voltages, and the quality and type used varied based on location, he added.

Despite low and medium voltage electricity grids being recognised as posing substantial safety concerns, little action had been taken.

Deputy director of Hau Giang province’s Industry and Trade Department Le Chi Cong said electricity co-operatives in the province had only gradually transferred management over to the provincial electricity company as the Law on Electricity required.

Yet Cong said it would take time before the transfer was finished.

Only 93 per cent of households in the province had been connected to the power grid. Cong said the number of households using unsafe electricity supplies still accounted for a high proportion of users, and were mostly in mountainous and remote areas.

In Can Tho City, meanwhile, about VND90 billion (US$4.2 million) has been invested in the provincial power grid over the past five years.

However, a large number of locals still continue to have a blase approach to electricity. Many have illegally connected to power grid to avoid paying electricity bills.

According to deputy director of Can Tho City’s Industry and Trade Department Duong Nghia Hiep, management by the provincial electricity company would only be completed by the end of this year.

According to Electricity of Viet Nam, it has taken over the management of low voltage electricity grids in 7,000 of the 9,106 communes nationwide. — VNS VietnamNewes

Electrical Accident Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Kansas City, MO – A wrongful death lawsuit against Kansas City Power & Light and a family has been set for a jury trial in early 2012.

Ronald and Patricia Basta, the parents of the late Joseph Basta, have filed for damages that came as a result of their son’s death on June 17, 2009, when he was electrocuted while doing roofing work. The owners of the house where it occurred, Larry and Judy Blankenship, have also been named in the lawsuit.

A jury trial has been scheduled to start Jan. 23, 2012, in Judge Randall Jackson’s court.

According to papers filed in the case, Joseph Basta was employed by Mike Rose Roofing, which was hired to do roof work on the Blankenships’ home. Standing on top of the roof with two other employees, Mr. Basta had finished cutting shingles and attempted to straighten himself up by placing his left hand on a weather vane connected to the ground.

He came in contact with an uninsulated split bolt connector, the plaintiffs say, and an estimated 200 volts of electricity ran through his body before a co-worker pushed him away. He jumped from the roof to the ground, landing on his feet, and curled up in the fetal position.

Attempts to revive Mr. Basta were unsuccessful. The cause of death was declared as electrocution.

The Bastas hold KCP&L responsible, saying the company should have inspected and maintained equipment supplying electricity to the home. They also allege negligence by the Blankenships for failing to maintain care of electrical equipment issues and not warning about potential dangers.

KCP&L and the Blankenships have denied all allegations, save for one. In an answer, the family admits negligence when it came to inspecting the electrical equipment and providing notice of any issues to the roof workers. KCP&L places blame on the Blankenships, Mike Rose Roofing and Mr. Basta’s co-workers.

“These individuals failed to inspect the electrical equipment, failed to warn Joseph Basta of the potential danger and failed to make the equipment safe before directing (Mr. Basta) to work near (it),” a filing stated.

KCP&L also said Mike Rose Roofing failed to comply with numerous Occupational Safety and Health Act rules, and that overhead power line conductors and their supporting instruments were plainly visible to all of the workers.

“Joseph Basta voluntarily and knowingly consented to the circumstances that resulted in his injuries and had knowledge, or with the exercise of reasonable care should have had knowledge, of the dangers of overhead electrical supply lines,” the utility said.

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