|Downed power line results in family tragedy|
|Library of Articles - Power Lines/Live Lines|
Downed power line results in family tragedy
The recent deaths of three members of a California family demonstrate the dangers associated with downed overhead power lines. Authorities believe high winds caused the 12,000 volt line to topple into the back yard of a San Bernardino residence. At that location a 43 year old man apparently was electrocuted either by contact with the wire or by the voltage radiating from the point where the wire touched the ground.
Authorities believe the man’s wife and their 21 year old son were subsequently in turn electrocuted when they attempted to rescue those previously overcome by the deadly current.
Safe Electricity urges everyone encountering downed power lines to assume that they are live. Always assume that they’re hot and never go close. Since it is impossible to know if a power line is energized or not, one should always avoid it. Electricity is always looking for a path to the ground, and from the point where a wire contacts the earth, deadly voltage will radiate for an unknown distance.
Firefighters found the bodies of the three family members at the San Bernardino home, but said it was too dangerous to immediately free them. The firefighters had to wait until the utility linemen cut the power and the bodies could be recovered.
The Safe Electricity program puts great importance on always knowing where power lines are located around you. Anyone on foot can become fatally injured, whether touching a low hanging power line or being near one on the ground.
If you see an overhead power line out of place, quickly notify your local utility or emergency personnel.