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CA: California Construction Worker Dies After Accidental Electrocution

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Mission Viejo, CA – A construction worker was electrocuted and a second worker hospitalized after coming into contact with exposed electrical wires during a job at Mission Viejo High School.

The incident was reported around 3:15 p.m. near the football practice field located on Chrisanta Drive, said Chris Concepion with the Orange County Fire Authority.

The men, both in their 20s, were erecting a scaffold when they came into contact with the electrical wire, Concepion said.The incident was reported around 3:15 p.m. near the football practice field located on Chrisanta Drive, said Chris Concepion with the Orange County Fire Authority.

One of the men was electrocuted and died at the scene. When the second man realized what was happening he tried to perform CPR on his co-worker, Steve Concialdi with OCFA said.

But when the worker stood up he also struck the power lines, Concialdi said.

The good Samaritan received a serious electrical shock and was transported to the hospital in critical condition, Concialdi said.

His condition was later upgraded to serious.

CAL OSHA was at the scene investigating.

No further information about the victims was released.

CA: San Fran City Hall Evacuated for Electrical Fire

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

San Francisco, CA: A small electrical fire prompted the evacuation of San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday night, and operations are still affected this morning, a mayoral spokeswoman said.  The fire, reported around 9:30 p.m. in an electrical vault in the basement, activated the building’s sprinkler system, said Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Lee.  Those inside the building were escorted out, including hundreds of people who were attending a private reception in the rotunda, she said.  The sprinkler system and responding firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but there was minor water damage to the basement, Falvey said.  The city’s Elections Department, which is located in the basement, was not affected by the fire, Falvey said. The first and second floors of City Hall, which are home to various departments that offer public services, are open for business today, Falvey said.  The third and fourth floors, which mostly contain city staff offices, have intermittent power and a number of employees are working remotely this morning, Falvey said.  She said power is expected to be fully restored to City Hall later this morning.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Story via mercurynews.com

 

CA: 2 Women Electrocuted Saving Driver, Others Suffer Electricity Injuries

August 23, 2012 1 comment

Los Angelas, California:  A witness to the aftermath of a deadly Valley Village accident that electrocuted two women said the scene was frightening and chaotic.  Liz Casmier, who lives at the intersection of Magnolia Boulevard and Ben Avenue, said dozens of people rushed to the scene after the driver of a white SUV crashed into a fire hydrant and light standard, finally coming to rest on her front lawn.

As water spewed from the broken hydrant, it came into contact with live wires from the overturned light pole and became electrified, authorities said. Two women who had raced to help the driver were electrocuted and died at the scene. “It was horrible, chaotic, just horrible,” Casmier said.

Many people initially tried to help, she said, but as several would-be rescuers were injured, others realized the water was electrified and had to stop. One man, who appeared to be the husband or close relative of one of the victims, was on his knees, distraught, on the ground near the woman, Casmier said.“It’s so horrible and sad,” she said.Los Angeles police have identified one of the women who died as Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank. The identity of the other woman has not been released. Information about the driver, who survived, has not been released, police said.Story via LA Times

CA: Electrical Fire destroys Pizzeria

MARIPOSA, CA:  A May 11 fire that destroyed the Pizza Factory restaurant and a handful of other businesses was sparked by an electrical problem in the restaurant’s attic, firefighters have determined.  The findings recently were released by James Dulcich, chief of the Mariposa Public Utility District Fire Department.  The investigation was conducted by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, because the utility district doesn’t have fire investigators on its staff, Dulcich said in a  statement.

ref=”http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/mi.mod00/News/Local;atf=N;dcove=d;pl=story;sect=Local;pos=2;sz=300×250;tile=4;!c=news;pub=ModBee;ord=133753889742049;gender=;year=;income=?” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/mi.mod00/News/Local;atf=N;dcove=d;pl=story;sect=Local;pos=2;sz=300×250;tile=4;!c=news;pub=ModBee;ord=133753889742049;gender=;year=;income=?” border=”0″ alt=”Advertisement”></a>      The Cal Fire report  indicated a “long time frame” from when people first smelled smoke to when the Fire Department was called, giving the blaze a head start.  “The fire was well established within the structure before firefighters arrived on scene,” Dulcich wrote.

The electrical fire was reported shortly before 8:30 p.m. at the 5005 Fifth St. building, which housed the Pizza Factory, in addition to several other businesses, including Pony Expresso Coffee House & Trading Post, Tracy’s Yarns, Larry’s Coins, Grace Notes Chimes, Mariposa County Arts Council and a bookstore.  About 40 people were inside the approximately 9,000-square-foot building when the fire erupted. No one was hurt.  The Pizza Factory opened 32 years ago in Mariposa.  Built during the mid-1800s, the building was one of the oldest in Mariposa.

Story via modbee.com

Tree Trimmer Suffers Electrical Burns in CA

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Santa Barbara, CA – A tree-trimmer suffered severe electrical burns on Wednesday after his rope wrapped around a power line.

Santa Barbara Fire Department spokesman Ryan DiGuilio said the man had thrown the rope over a tree limb he had been preparing to work on. The rope had some metal in it and when it went around an electrical line, it carried the current back up through the man’s harness, giving him severe electrical burns.

At 1:23 p.m. firefighters and paramedics received a report of a man caught in a tree on the first block of East Valerio Street.

When firefighters arrived, they found the man 30 feet in the air, hanging upside down. The man’s harness had slipped and only held him by the ankles.

Firefighters used a 35 foot ladder and a series of ropes and harness to get the man down. DiGuilio was still conscious on the way to Cottage Hospital.

Story via The Daily Sound.com

Girl Electrocuted After Stepping On Power Line

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Oakhurst, CA – The Madera County Sheriff’s Department identified the 14-year-old Oakhurst girl who died on New Year’s Eve after stepping on a live power line. 

Sarah Lewis was killed after she crashed her father’s truck on Leach Road and stepped on a live downed power line. 

The CHP says she was speeding on wet pavement when she lost control and hit a power pole. 

Sarah’s friend who was along for the tragic joy-ride was not injured.

Story via KMJNow.com

CA Boy Causes Electrical Arc at Ice Rink

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Temecula, CA – The outdoor ice-skating rink in Old Town Temecula is safe following Sunday’s incident in which electricity arced from a nearby power supply source, the rink’s manager said this morning.

No one was reported hurt in the incident, which forced the 50-by-70-foot rink’s closure for several hours.

Meagin Ramiro, who manages the rink for Colton-based Studio 33, said a young boy on a scooter accidentally came in contact with a rod sticking about 6 inches out of the ground. At the same time, the boy touched a city electrical box, causing electricity to arc, she said.

Ramiro, who was on site, said she immediately called 911. The boy was checked out and the rink evacuated as a precaution, she said.

Ramiro said the rod, which might have been driven through live wires, had nothing to do with the rink’s operation. The rink relies on a generator for its power, she said.

She added she offered refunds or return passes to the affected skaters. The rod has since been sawed off so it is level with the ground, she said.

“(The accident) was a complete fluke,” Ramiro said.

Story via pe.com

So Cal Man Dies, Wife Burned Trying to Steal Copper Wire

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

UPDATED  from LATimesblog.latimes SOUTH GATE, CALIFORNIA – A man was electrocuted and died as he and a female partner tried to steal copper wire from an electrical vault in South Gate on Saturday afternoon, police said.

The woman tried to pull him away from the vault when it caught fire and exploded, but the electricity traveled through her body and she received severe burns, South Gate police spokesman Lt. Keith Huff said. He said she was taken to St. Francis Medical Center and transferred Saturday night to the Grossman Burn Centers.

Two small children were found in a truck 15 feet from the accident but were not injured. They were being held by childrens’ services workers, Huff said.

The electrical vault was on a lot at 3064 Firestone Blvd., at the corner of South Gate Avenue. The lot was the former site of Liberty Cable Company but has been unoccupied for more than a year, Huff said.

He said that the explosion at 4:14 p.m. knocked out power across the west side of South Gate, and that the power was largely restored by the evening.

CALIFORNIA – A couple trying to steal electrical copper wire from a vacant building in Southern California initially thought that the power had been shut off.   However, once the couple broke through the walls and tried to pry the valuable metal wire from within, they discovered that they were very wrong. The result was that the man was electrocuted and the woman was severely burned while their children sat in a nearby vehicle.

The police were called to the scene when neighbors notified them that they could hear a woman screaming, following a small sound that seemed like an explosion. At least one neighbor ran to the scene and saw a woman with severe burns over much of her body running around and screaming and crying. She was also asking for help for her husband, who lay near by.

When the police arrived they found a vehicle parked near the vacant properties. Inside were two children, one aged 3 and the other aged 6. The police believe that they are the couple’s children.

So far the police have not released a reason behind the attempted theft nor have they released the names of the victims pending a notification of next of kin.

While the exact motives are not known, copper is a valuable metal among scrap metal dealers. There have been incidents of thieves sneaking into condo development and other new homes to steal the copper wiring from the electrical system. Copper wire theft in vacant and abandoned buildings has also become very common with some property owners and contractors placing security around buildings 24-hours a day.

Story via Huliq.com

CA Business Owner Faces Manslaugher Charges for Failure to Follow Electrical Safety Standards

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA –  The owner and the manager of a San Francisco printing company where a pregnant employee was killed in a machine accident in 2008 appeared in court this morning on manslaughter charges.

Digital Pre-Press International owner and CEO Sanjay Sakhuja and pressroom manager Alick Yeung are each charged with involuntary manslaughter and violation of a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration code in connection with the Jan. 29, 2008, death of Margarita Mojica. The company is also charged in the case.

Mojica, 26, of Oakland, was crushed to death by a creasing and cutting machine she was preparing for a job.

Prosecutors allege that workers at the company had not been trained to safely operate the machine, and that the machine lacked required safety devices.

District Attorney Kamala Harris released a statement Monday calling the deaths of Mojica and her unborn child “tragedies that never should have occurred.”

In court today, the two men agreed to postpone their arraignment on the charges until Oct. 29 in order for Yeung to secure an attorney from the public defender’s office.

Sakhuja, 52, of Alameda, and Yeung, 50, of San Francisco, surrendered Tuesday and were still in custody this morning, but have posted $300,000 and $100,000 bail, respectively.

They will be released from jail later today, according to Sakhuja’s attorney, Tony Brass.

Outside court, Brass claimed that a criminal prosecution is unnecessary because Mojica’s family has already been compensated.

“Obviously this is a tragedy of the greatest proportion,” Brass said, “but this case has nothing to do with compensating the victim’s family for that tragedy.”

Brass called it “a horrible accident” and said Mojica’s family has already received a multi-million-dollar settlement from the company’s insurers.

“This is about punishing a small businessman,” he said.

Sakhuja’s “mom-and-pop shop” in Potrero Hill employs about 60 people, Brass said.

Regarding the safety allegations, Brass responded, “What the industry standards were remains a question.” He said the last Cal/OSHA inspection of the shop prior to the accident was carried out before the machine that killed Mojica was installed.

The company’s insurers inspected the machine after it was installed and “didn’t find any problems,” Brass said.

Mojica was crushed when the machine, which functioned like “a giant, mechanized clamshell,” according to prosecutors, suddenly turned on as she was reaching into it.

Cal/OSHA performed two safety inspections of Digital Pre-Press International in 1999 and 2001 after receiving complaints, Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Krisann Chasarik said.

The inspections resulted in the company being cited for various safety violations, including improper face and eye protection for workers, not following electrical safety requirements, lockout tagout, a lack of sufficient safety guardrails, and not having an written electrical safety program on prevention of workplace injuries, she said.

Following Mojica’s death, Cal/OSHA issued 14 citations against the company for safety-related violations related to the machine and training at the company, according to Chasarik.

“They were required to abate the hazards, and they did that,” Chasarik said. Monetary penalties from the citations are on hold pending the resolution of criminal proceedings, she said.

In the criminal case, Sakhuja and Yeung could be fined up to $250,000 each and the company up to $1.5 million

Story via ABClocal.go.com

San Bruno Families Suing PG&E for Electrical Failure that Lead to Gas Line Explosion

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA – Families affected by a deadly gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif., filed lawsuits against utility company PG&E, saying the company knew a pipeline was faulty.

A natural gas pipeline burst Sept. 9, sparking a massive fireball that ripped through a San Bruno neighborhood. The explosion killed seven people and destroyed 37 homes.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board in a preliminary report found an electrical failure at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. facility caused a pressure surge in the pipeline just before the San Bruno explosion. The report added that it took more than five hours for the company to shut off the gas after the explosion.

The lawsuits say PG&E knew the pipeline was “defective,” the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reports. PG&E in its internal document said a section of the pipeline, Line 132, a few miles from the site of the explosion was at risk of failure, the newspaper adds.

The five lawsuits are calling for unspecified damages and call on the company to remove the idled pipeline from their neighborhood, a request backed by San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane.

“We want our neighborhood rebuilt, and we want our people back,” the mayor was quoted as saying.

Story via UPI.com