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Author Topic: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street  (Read 12618 times)

Mike Sokol

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 01:07:23 am »

We get occasional reports of live sidewalk sections in the city, where underground service equipment has failed, and energizes things.  Reports of dogs getting zapped while being walked are not rare.


There's also a surprising number of horse electrocutions in their own stalls, in paddocks, or sometimes while on police patrol. Here's just one example http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/9395743.stm

I've also posted on some of the diesel truck pages about block heaters causing pickup trucks and their connected horse trailers to become "hot-skin" electrified, killing horses.  Apparently their hooves are quite conductive and their hearts are as sensitive to electric shock as humans. 
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Mike Sokol
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 10:43:26 pm »

Had a stable owner ask me to remove a GFCI from a horse waterer 2 weeks ago because it kept tripping.  I reminded him that since his business was boarding horses, killing one might put a damper on is livlihood!  Told him to do the right thing and fix the waterer. Why is it always the safety devices fault?
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Ted Christensen

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 11:07:58 pm »

This is terrible. It appears a girl was dancing in the rain when she came in contact with an in-ground junction box that wasn't properly grounded. http://ecmweb.com/around-circuit/girl-dies-shock-city-street?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ECMMostRecent+%28Electrical+Construction+%26+Maintenance%29&Issue=ECM-04_20140210_ECM-04_901&NL=ECM-04&cl=article_10_b&sfvc4enews=42&YM_RID=mike%40noshockzone.org&YM_MID=1448312

Everyone thinks I'm a bit nuts when I walk around with a Non Contact Voltage Tester checking out street light poles and junction boxes. A standard 90-1,000 volt NCVT would have lit up and beeped from a foot or more away from this "hot" box.

that terrible. 12 years old? my prayers go out to their family. Its deaths like this that can be avoided too. Unfortunate.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 08:41:22 am »

that terrible. 12 years old? my prayers go out to their family. Its deaths like this that can be avoided too. Unfortunate.

Here's a pic of me doing a hot-skin demonstration on a model of a VW RV. I've given away hundreds of these Non Contact Voltage Testers (NCVTs) to RV owners and community watch groups around the country. Note that even the standard sensitivity NCVTs (90-1,000 volts) will beep like crazy from as much as 2 feet away large surface energized to 120-volts, or beep when you touch it to an energized surface with as little as 40-volts on a microphone or guitar amp with an improper ground. I highly recommend that all sound-techs keep a NCVT in their road kit, and do a quick check of the stage for anything "hot". Even though your sound system might be correctly grounded, a musician with a broken ground connection on their stage amp can get a serious shock "from the mic" and blame YOU for the shock. That's because his or her wet lips on the grounded mic will FEEL the voltage is coming from the mic, when it's actually coming from the strings of their guitar.
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Mike Sokol
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Tim McCulloch

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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

frank kayser

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2014, 02:08:24 pm »

Family files lawsuit-

http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/20/3300691/salina-family-sues-in-death-from.html

An awful story - one of laziness and turning a blind eye.  And the long, protracted death makes it all the worse.

"The lawsuit says a city electrician told investigators "he knew there was no ground wire as they had not installed the ground", and that "if they had installed the ground wire, every time there was a power surge, it would trip the breaker and all he would get done would be resetting the breaker."

The electrician's quotes were taken from reports that Salina police or fire investigators made on the day of the incident or soon after, said Michael Rader, a Leawood attorney representing the Hicks family.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/20/3300691/salina-family-sues-in-death-from.html#storylink=cpy "

Wow.  I wonder how many other boxes in that city are similarly wired to be protected from having the breaker trip in the rain.
I guess the city electrician is the code compliance offer, too... or the code compliance official was laying down on the job, too.
You think other cities may have followed the same practice?

Maybe there's more to the story from the vault manufacturer.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 02:52:02 pm »

Could not knowingly/willfully creating and allowing a safety hazard put the electrician at risk for a criminal offense?  Unfortunately, far to often the solution to "nuisance" trips-be they OC or GFCI is to eliminate the safety device-bigger fuse, remove GFCI, cut off ground pin etc-and rarely does the guilty party pay the price.  The only thing we can do about this situation is to make sure we are never the guilty party.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 04:57:38 pm »

Could not knowingly/willfully creating and allowing a safety hazard put the electrician at risk for a criminal offense?  Unfortunately, far to often the solution to "nuisance" trips-be they OC or GFCI is to eliminate the safety device-bigger fuse, remove GFCI, cut off ground pin etc-and rarely does the guilty party pay the price.  The only thing we can do about this situation is to make sure we are never the guilty party.

Each state (in the U.S.) has its own definition of criminal negligence, and the criteria that make an action criminally negligent. There is almost always a heightened standard (such as willful or reckless) that must be proved. Proving the mental state with admissible evidence in a criminal case is often difficult. Here, if the electrician gave a statement to a government investgator, but was not warned of the possible criminal consequences of making a statement, such a statement might not be admissible in a criminal trial. I don't know if that is the case here or not; I am merely making a reasonably educated guess.

I am not making any value judgments here. The social good of figuring out what happened and why may be more valuable than the social good of punishing (as a criminal act) the negligent actor.  Civil liability is a very different story, however. Mark C.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2014, 06:51:38 am »

"The lawsuit says a city electrician told investigators "he knew there was no ground wire as they had not installed the ground", and that "if they had installed the ground wire, every time there was a power surge, it would trip the breaker and all he would get done would be resetting the breaker."


This same mindset can occur on stages where GFCI outlets are removed to prevent random tripping during gigs. Or someone breaks off the ground pin of the power cord on a guitar amp to stop a hum. And I've played on a rain soaked stage in my youth. Time for all of us to get more diligent about proper grounding. 
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Girl Dies From Shock On City Street
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2014, 10:42:06 am »

Yeah, I get RV owners who argue with me that putting their leveling jacks on the "ground" actually "grounds" their RV. That's a bunch of crap...  >:(

Somebody (possibly JR) on a DIY electronics forum once said something like "a good coat of paint will stop 300 volts", in reference to wire insulation standards.

Worth noting that racked gear is often not very well grounded through the rack hardware since everything these days is nicely powder-coated.
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