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India: Electrical Accident Fatalities Still Persistent

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Bangalore, India:
According to Bescom records, the number of fatal electrical accidents in the first half of Fiscal 2013 in the Bescom jurisdiction was 86 involving people, and 45 involving animals.
Statistics of the past five years show that the number of accidents has been persistently high. In 2009-10, the fatalities were 105, while in 2012-13, it was 127.

According to an analysis done by Bescom, there are seven categories under which these accidents have taken place. Among them, snapping of conductors, accidental contact with live wire, lack of supervision and violation of safety norms and defective appliances top the list.  The number of deaths due to electrical accidents involving the public is far higher than the number of deaths of the Bescom staff. In both 2012-13 fiscal and 2013-14 fiscal (until November), the number of fatal accidents involving the public has been higher compared with the number of non-fatal accidents. In 2012-13, 116 people died in electrical accidents and 51 met with non-fatal accidents.
In the current 2013-14 fiscal, 81 people have died, compared with 36 people who escaped in non-fatal incidents. As far as the staff is concerned, the company has lost four lives in 2013-14, and as many as 11 in 2012-13.
There have been deaths of animals, too. Of the 45 deaths of animals in electrical accidents, 17 were due to snapping of conductors, 13 due to accidental contact with live wire, among others.
In a circular on November 19, 2013, Bescom General Manager (Quality and Safety) Mohan Kalluraya notes: “Electrical accidents in the Bescom jurisdiction are increasing.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is viewing this seriously… Even after issuing various circulars regarding identification and rectification of hazardous locations, yet accidents are on the rise.”
In a subsequent circular issued on December 7, 2013, by Bescom Director (Technical) H Nagesh, it is noted, “From the analysis of accidents reported, it is observed that the occurrence of departmental accidents is due to overconfidence of the field staff…”
Speaking to Deccan Herald, a KERC officer said that the majority of accidents occur because there is no sufficient gap between buildings and wires. Narrow roads and slums are more vulnerable.
Such accidents could be curtailed by 99 per cent by replacing open conductors with aerial bunched cables, he said. But these cables are quite expensive. “It is important to ensure that even if a wire snapped, it should not be hazardous. A better option is to resort to the underground system, though it is expensive. It costs approximately six times more than the overhead system, but it is definitely safer. Bescom may not have funds to replace it all at once, but it could be done in phases.”

Story Via: DeccanHerrald.com

WA: Firefighters save home from Electrical Fire

March 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Snoqualmie, WA:  A quick response by the Carnation Fire Department Thursday, March 14, saved a home in the 5900 block of 322nd Avenue Northeast.

The electrical fire, reported at 8:38 a.m., appeared to start in the fuse box on the dryer, when a resident of the home was doing laundry, said King County Fire Investigator Todd Legg.

Reportedly, the resident had just started the dryer when she heard sparking, Legg said, and she found flames coming from the electrical panel. From the dryer, the fire spread to the home’s meter box, but the damage was quickly contained.

“The response from the fire department was two minutes,” Legg said.

Eastside Fire and Rescue reported that all occupants of the home were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. There was some smoke in the home.

Firefighters left the scene around 10 a.m., and the fire investigation has been concluded.

Story via valleyrecord.com

England: House Fire from Electrical Fault

Barming, England: Fire crews were called to a house blaze in Maidstone yesterday afternoon.

Two pumps arrived at St David’s Gate, in Barming, at about 3.30pm, to tackle the flames which had broken out in an ensuite bathroom.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used a hose reel to put out fire, and a positive pressure ventilation fan was used to help minimise smoke damage to the property.

They left the scene at 4.15pm.

No one is thought to have been injured.

It’s believed the electrical fire was caused by an electrical fault and is being treated as an accident.

Story via kentonline.co.uk

MA: Blizzard Damages Electrical System – Home Burns

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment
MARSHFIELD, MA: The home at the corner of Circuit and Ames avenues in Marshfield has hosted a neighborhood clambake on Labor Day weekend for more than 30 years. But that tradition is now in jeopardy because of the Blizzard of 2013.

“It’s really devastating,” neighbor Charlie Pesko said. “It was in pristine condition, a beautiful place.”

The summer home at 10 Ames Ave. near Rexhame Beach was gutted by a three-alarm electrical fire Wednesday afternoon. No one was injured.

Marshfield Fire Chief Kevin Robinson said the blaze was a result of damage to the home’s electrical service, a casualty of last week’s blizzard. Since the storm struck last Friday, firefighters in hard-hit communities have responded to a variety of emergencies, including rescues, fires, carbon monoxide scares and medical calls.

 

On Tuesday, homes on Oceanside Drive in Scituate and Avon Street in Marshfield caught fire when their power was restored. There were no injuries in either fire. In Marshfield alone, there have been five electrical fires since last Friday, Robinson said.Robinson said Wednesday’s fire started at the electric meter outside the rear side of the home, climbing quickly up the wooden frame into the attic. He said the attic and second floor were destroyed, and the home may need to be torn down.

Some Rexhame residents who had been without electricity since the weekend said their homes regained power at about the same time the fire started, about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.  “A surge could have done it,” Robinson said. “If there was damage to the electrical service, and one is energized, that could have caused the fire as well. We’re still investigating that at this point.”

Firefighters from Marshfield, Duxbury, Pembroke, Hanover, Norwell and Scituate responded to the fire, which was extinguished shortly after 4 p.m. Part of the roof collapsed, and the first floor was damaged by water from fire hoses.  Jonathan and Connie Smith, the homeowners, watched from the lawn as firefighters tore through walls to make sure the fire was out. The couple, who live in Wellesley during the winter, raised their two sons in the home, which was built in the 1880s.

Jonathan Smith said the home has been owned by his family since 1945.  “Tragic,” he said.  “The saddest,” Connie added.  Connie watched as firefighters carried pieces of salvageable furniture from the charred home into the barn next door.  “It was the furniture that came with the house in the 1800s. That’s how old it is,” she said. “It’s some beautiful old wicker. It was here when the house was first built.”

Charlie Pesko, who lives on nearby Kent Avenue, shook Jonathan’s hand, kissed Connie on the cheek and told the couple he’s available if they need any help. Pesko said the Smiths are very popular among the locals.

“They get the whole neighborhood here on Labor Day for a good ol’ New England clambake and lobsters,” Pesko said. “They do the whole thing. They mastermind the whole thing.”

Story via patriotledger.com

INDIA: Woman Electrocuted Touching Switch Board with Wet Hands

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

NAGPUR, INDIA: Lack of awareness and safety measures claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman who was electrocuted while working with her husband at Navkanya Nagar in Kalamna on Sunday. The couple was digging a well when the incident took place.

It’s learnt that Gnyaneshwar Mahe and his wife Sharda were excavating the earth to construct a well at the residence of one Shyamrao Dabhelkar. As Gnyaneshwar was digging, he asked his wife to throw out the accumulating water. It was at this time when Sharda came in contact with an electric switch board of the motor pump. She collapsed following electrocution and was rushed to a private hospital where she was declared dead. Police said that Sharda had touched the switch board with wet hands. Kalamna police registered a case of accidental death.

Story via Times of India

NM: Tree Trimmer Avoids Electrocution

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

LAS CRUCES, NM:

The tree trimmer involved in two serious accidents on the job in six months told KFOX14 he doesn’t plan to quit his job any time soon and plans to return to work as soon as Thursday.

“I feel lucky because I should be dead or something like that a couple times over,” Craig Benavidez said. “It’s a good thing to be alive.”

Benavidez, 52, was shocked by a power line Monday while he was trimming branches for an O’Donnell Drive home.

Benavidez was lowered to safety by a rescue team with the Las Cruces Fire Department after dangling from a tree about 30 feet above ground.  Benavidez was flown to University Medical Center in El Paso in critical condition, but Wednesday he told KFOX14 his injuries are minimal.  “I have scratches on my head and some electrical blowouts from my feet,” Benavidez said.   Benavidez said he has no memory of the incident or how it happened.  “Waking up in the hospital, that’s all I remember,” Benavidez said.  Monday’s incident was the second major accident on the job Craig has been involved with in the past six months.

In July, Benavidez was attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees.  During his 32-year career as a tree trimmer, Benavidez said he’s had some other minor accidents but nothing like he’s endured recently.   “I just have to look a little bit closer and be a little more careful. A lot more careful,” Benavidez said.  When asked why he planned to get back to work as a tree trimmer, Benavidez told KFOX14 he couldn’t imagine earning his living any other way.

Story via kfoxtv.com

FL: Extension Cord Fire Causes $30K in Damages

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Palm Bay, FL: An overheated extension cord started an electrical fire that caused about $30,000 damage to a Palm Bay home early today.  The fire apparently began about 6:30 a.m. near a space heater behind an old couch in the home at 1326 Cherry Hills Road NE, according to Palm Bay Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Marshal Ronald Bailey.  Smoke alarms alerted the residents who evacuated without injury, Palm Bay officials said. Firefighters quickly stopped the blaze, containing the fire in the master bedroom though smoke damaged other parts of the home.  Bailey said the extension cord being used was too small and overheated, catching the sofa on fire.

The Red Cross was called to assist the family.  As temperatures briefly dip across Central Florida, officials remind residents to be careful with portable heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heaters are one of the leading causes of fatal house fires.

To prevent fires, residents should:  Keep a three-foot area around a heater clear of combustibles and other items;  don’t use ovens as a home heating source turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed always use correct fuel, and follow directions on a heater;  test smoke alarms.

Story via floridatoday.com

MA: Electrical Fire Destroys Home

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment
PLYMOUTH, MA:

The state fire marshal has reason to believe a fire Friday that destroyed a home in Plymouth’s Manomet village was an electrical fire, but the official cause remains undetermined.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the early morning blaze at 116 Seaview Drive started next to a couch in the home’s living room. No one was home when the fire started, and there were no injuries.

“There is no evidence to suggest this was an intentionally-set fire.” Coan said. “Reconstruction of the scene points to an electrical cause of the fire, but all of the electrical components were destroyed by the fire leaving us without evidence to test to confirm.”

Coan said the seaside home is used year-round, but the occupants were away for the holidays.

Because the cause of the Plymouth blaze is undetermined, investigators won’t connect the fire to a recent string of suspicious fires in southeastern Massachusetts.

More than 15 of these suspicious fires, some of which were deemed arson, started inside empty or abandoned buildings in local towns.

Jennifer Meith, spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services, said authorities are still investigating a possible arson spree.

“There are certainly a series of intentionally set fires that we’re investigating as a possible connection,” she said.

Friday’s fire in Plymouth started shortly before 3 a.m. Deputy Fire Chief Michael Young said the single-story home was “fully engulfed” when firefighters arrived.

“It’s totally gutted, a total loss,” Young said.

Heat from the fire melted some shutters at the home next door at 114 Seaview Drive, Young said. Firefighters were able to put out most of the fire within a half hour.

Three other fires occurred in coastal communities in the past two weeks. On Dec. 19, a small fire damaged a summer home on Central Avenue in Scituate’s Humarock neighborhood.

Several hours later, fire destroyed two boats and damaged three others at Taylor Marine in Marshfield’s Brant Rock neighborhood.

On Dec. 13, officials said a one-alarm fire, later deemed to be arson, damaged a beachfront home at 204 Central Ave. in Humarock.

Story via patriotledger.com

INDIA: Electrocution from Tree Trimming

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

MARGAO, INDIA: A lineman with the electricity department, Krishna Madhu Velip, 35, was electrocuted after coming into contact with a live high tension wire at Costi, Kalay, on Tuesday morning. Velip was a resident of Barcem, Quepem.

Police sources said that Velip had climbed a ladder to cut some tree branches that were over electricity lines. The cutting instrument in his hand accidentally touched the live line leading to his electrocution. Police have booked an offence against a junior engineer (JE) and senior lineman under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Story via timesofindia.com

USA: Sandy Wreaking Havoc – Electrical Fires Errupting

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Washington DC: The destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy mounted Tuesday morning as electrical fires and record power outages added to the misery of devastating flooding in the Northeast.

By early Tuesday, more than 7 million customers shivered without electricity in 10 states and the District of Columbia in Sandy’s chilly wake.

Sandy also claimed at least 16 lives across the United States, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 84 after the storm wreaked havoc in the Caribbean.

The storm sent trees crashing down and left neighborhood streets looking like rivers. Floodwaters rushed into New York’s subway tunnels and ripped up part of Atlantic City’s fabled boardwalk.

Hundreds of people were stranded in one New Jersey town alone Tuesday morning. And Connecticut’s governor offered ominous advice in a Twitter post: “If u find urself surrounded by water, call 4 help if u can, then get 2 highest level of home. Hang a white sheet out a street-side window.”

Authorities scrambled in boats to rescue trapped residents in several towns after a berm broke in Moonachie, New Jersey.

“Within 30 minutes, those towns were under 4 or 5 feet of water,” said Jeanne Baratta of Bergen County police.

Hundreds of people had been rescued Tuesday morning, Gov. Chris Christie said.

“We’ll have to rescue hundreds more,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stench of smoke was blown across flooded streets as fierce winds and rising waters shorted out power lines and sparked fires in places such as Lindenhurst, New York.

At least 50 homes burned to the ground in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, fire officials said. The cause of the blaze was not immediately released. More than 200 firefighters battled the leaping flames.

Elsewhere in New York City, emergency backup power failed and 10 feet of water flooded the basement of NYU Langone Medical Center, prompting the evacuation of 260 patients. Nurses manually pumped air to the lungs of those on respirators.

Atlantic City, New Jersey, became an extension of the Atlantic Ocean. Seaweed and ocean debris swirled in the knee-deep water covering downtown streets.

Like many New Jersey residents, Montgomery Dahm stared in awe at the feet of water that deluged Atlantic City.

“I’ve been down here for about 16 years, and it’s shocking what I’m looking at now. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I mean, there’s cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water.”

Along the East Coast, residents reported images they’d never seen before.

“We just looked out the window, and there’s this river flowing through the middle of Manhattan,” said Earl Bateman, a stockbroker who has lived in New York for 30 years.

More fury to come

But the weather nightmare isn’t over yet.

Forecasters say the entire Northeast corridor of the United States will bear the brunt of Sandy.

Fierce winds will blow from northern Georgia into Canada and as far west as Lake Michigan on Tuesday. Meanwhile, heavy rains will soak New England and parts of the Midwest.

And a blizzard spawned by Sandy will bring 2 to 3 feet of snow to the mountains of West Virginia by Wednesday morning.

“It’s 3 feet of heavy snow. It’s like concrete,” said meteorologist Reed Timmer, who is riding out the storm in Elkins, West Virginia.

Thousands of flights will remain grounded Tuesday. Federal government offices will stay closed. And it will take between 14 hours and four days to get the water out of the subway tunnels in New York.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night,” said Joseph Lhota, chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region.”

The full scale of Sandy’s wrath has yet to be determined. But according to a government prediction, the storm’s wind damage alone could result in more than $7 billion in economic loss.

Power outages spanned from Virginia to Maine, and the iconic Manhattan skyline turned eerily dark.

“This will be the largest storm-related outage in our history,” said John Miksad, senior vice president of power company Con Edison.

Roaring in

After killing at least 67 people in the Caribbean, Sandy made landfall Monday night in southern New Jersey, sending waves of water into major cities along the East Coast.

Officials blame Sandy for at least 16 deaths in the United States. Several victims, including an 8-year-old boy in Pennsylvania, died after being hit by a tree or tree limb. Another death was reported in Canada, where flying debris struck a woman.

As the devastation spread, President Barack Obama signed major disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York on Tuesday.

Hardik Rajput of Nassau County, New York, couldn’t believe the sight of waves crashing over

the height of cars.

“To be honest, I was just stunned,” he said. “I’ve never seen that. Just to see it on the street level was astounding.”

In New York, Manhattan’s Battery Park recorded a nearly 14-foot tide, smashing a record set by 1960’s Hurricane Donna by several feet.

Five hours after making landfall, Sandy still packed hurricane-force winds as it swirled about 10 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

As residents in New York and New Jersey surveyed the flooding left by Sandy, many discovered their high-rise apartment buildings became islands.

“I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent my building,” New Yorker William Yaeck said. “I would be concerned, but now my building has a view of the river.”

Story via wptv.com