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Author Topic: Man Dies After Touching Power Line  (Read 4995 times)

Mike Sokol

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Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« on: July 16, 2014, 11:00:11 am »

When will these guys ever learn?  :o

A man police say was shocked after he broke into a NYSEG substation and touched a live power line has died.

Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Mower of Perry had been at Strong Memorial Hospital with serious burns since last Thursday. Police say he and another man were trying to steal copper wire from the substation in Perry. Police say Mower climbed onto a live transformer and grabbed a 35-thousand volt line. He was thrown to the ground and covered in flames. According to investigators, the other man, 24-year-old Eugene Matteson Junior, put out the fire and carried Mower outside.

Matteson is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail where he is facing felony charges.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 05:17:11 pm by Mike Sokol »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 11:15:34 am »

When will these guys ever learn?  :o

A man police say was shocked after he broke into a NYSEG substation and touched a live power line has died.

Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Mower of Perry had been at Strong Memorial Hospital with serious burns since last Thursday. Police say he and another man were trying to steal copper wire from the substation in Perry. Police say Mower climbed onto a live transformer and grabbed a 35-thousand volt line. He was thrown to the ground and covered in flames. According to investigators, the other man, 24-year-old Eugene Matteson Junior, put out the fire and carried Mower outside.

Matteson is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail where he is facing felony charges.
I feel sorry for the family; not so sorry for the morons.  If only these criminals would direct their substantial energy and risk towards something productive for society - i.e. getting a job - they'd be working less hard.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 12:35:11 pm »

The Darwin Award« goes to.... Andrew Mower!

This award sponsored by the Junior Embalmers and Gravediggers Association... /snark
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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 DeWitt

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 12:50:18 pm »

When will these guys ever learn? 

he broke into a

Many people see fences and locks as indicators that this stuff is not mine and I have no right to it.  The second group sees fences and locks as unfair.  Sadly they did learn. They learned what they were taught.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 01:39:10 pm »

When will these guys ever learn?  :o

Perhaps they had electrical tape wrapped around their tools. Or they were wearing rubber-soled shoes. They might understand that electrical tape is an insulator, but they don't pay attention to the label on the package that says "600V" (because they don't understand what it means) -- a couple of layers of e-tape isn't going to protect you from 35kV.

The general public simply doesn't understand how high-voltage electricity behaves, how it can ionize air and arc around insulators, and how it can burn and kill. Most people in the US are not exposed to voltages greater than 120V (240V in Europe) and really have no need to learn about high voltage. Electric fence chargers may have several thousand volts of potential, but they also have a high impedance/low current design so the actual voltage you experience is probably less than 500. The DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE signs, the fences, and the locks around a substation really should be sufficient to protect the public.

Expect a lawsuit by the family. Pray that it is thrown out of court. Even if the utility left the gate unlocked, open, and unattended it should be common knowledge that substations are dangerous places and should only be entered by trained, authorized personnel. One party's negligence does not excuse the stupidity of another party.
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Mike Sokol

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 02:53:16 pm »

Perhaps they had electrical tape wrapped around their tools. Or they were wearing rubber-soled shoes. They might understand that electrical tape is an insulator, but they don't pay attention to the label on the package that says "600V" (because they don't understand what it means) -- a couple of layers of e-tape isn't going to protect you from 35kV.

Al Keltz sent me a link to photos of a similar event last year, but those guys had a big set of bolt-cutters with fiberglass handles. IIRC they were cutting a substation line with 11,000 volts and lots of amp flowing. From the pictures I postulated that they didn't get shocked, they created an arc-flash explosion that turned them into crispy critters. An arc flash is coming at you faster than the speed of sound and is hotter than the surface of the sun. It's a very bad thing to get close to.

Hopefully this will never see any damages awarded by the courts since rewarding stupidity just reinforces the stupidity cycle.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 03:08:36 pm »

Al Keltz sent me a link to photos of a similar event last year, but those guys had a big set of bolt-cutters with fiberglass handles. IIRC they were cutting a substation line with 11,000 volts and lots of amp flowing. From the pictures I postulated that they didn't get shocked, they created an arc-flash explosion that turned them into crispy critters. An arc flash is coming at you faster than the speed of sound and is hotter than the surface of the sun. It's a very bad thing to get close to.

Hopefully this will never see any damages awarded by the courts since rewarding stupidity just reinforces the stupidity cycle.

Probably better than being a chunk of human wire to ground in this case...

John

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Don Davis

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 06:12:53 pm »

This is rampant on commercial properties. I'm the facilities manager for a large commercial property portfolio and have had to deal with numerous copper thefts. One set of thief's managed to get into the Edison side of our 480V 2000Amp main service section and cut the cables, then remove the buss bars, breakers etc. Even the SCE crew was amazed at that one. The most recent guys weren't so lucky. They where using bolt cutters to cut cable on what they thought was the house side of the panel but it wasn't. We found the cutters, some clothing and a big weld mark where the cutters touched the meter section. No bodies though. No law suit pending.

When will these guys ever learn?  :o

A man police say was shocked after he broke into a NYSEG substation and touched a live power line has died.

Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Mower of Perry had been at Strong Memorial Hospital with serious burns since last Thursday. Police say he and another man were trying to steal copper wire from the substation in Perry. Police say Mower climbed onto a live transformer and grabbed a 35-thousand volt line. He was thrown to the ground and covered in flames. According to investigators, the other man, 24-year-old Eugene Matteson Junior, put out the fire and carried Mower outside.

Matteson is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail where he is facing felony charges.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 02:15:32 pm »

Many people see fences and locks as indicators that this stuff is not mine and I have no right to it.

Shouldn't need locks and fences-if they were taught correctly.

IMO the "victims" ought to be sued and held responsible for damages they caused to the equipment as well as the cost of the emergency responders.  And then made to work until the damages and medical bills were paid off.
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Steve Swaffer

frank kayser

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Re: Man Dies After Toucing Power Line
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 03:36:07 pm »

Shouldn't need locks and fences-if they were taught correctly.

IMO the "victims" ought to be sued and held responsible for damages they caused to the equipment as well as the cost of the emergency responders.  And then made to work until the damages and medical bills were paid off.


Locks only keep honest people honest.  The size of the lock is inversely proportional to the honesty of the individual.


One would think that anyone caught in the act of a trespass, they (and their relatives) would forfeit any right to sue anyone in connection with the act.  As far as restitution for the crime, I doubt the crispy could offer much.  A survivor?  probably was "unemployable" before, more unemployable after, and would therefore be a dry well anyway. 
And to your point, should the (surviving) perp be acquitted (entirely possible) what then?  Spend the money trying to sue for damages, when there was no underlying crime proved? 
Now do they get to sue for "unsafe theiving conditions"...


frank
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2014, 04:35:51 pm »

I didn't say "employed"-I said made to work. But now we are headed off topic into prohibited politics and I don't want Mike to get his lock out!
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Steve Swaffer

Mike Sokol

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 06:46:43 pm »

I didn't say "employed"-I said made to work. But now we are headed off topic into prohibited politics and I don't want Mike to get his lock out!

That's right.... I'm watching ALL of you!  ::)
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frank kayser

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2014, 11:38:07 pm »

That's right.... I'm watching ALL of you!  ::)


(...whistling by the graveyard...) Who me?  Off topic? Pshaw!
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TonyWilliams

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2014, 04:26:35 am »

Once a year I do av for a safety meeting for the local utility company. They talk about all the accidents from the previous year. Usually it includes a few thieves that tried unsuccessfully to get some copper, and they always got the uncensored pictures to show the aftermath. Pretty crazy what an arc-flash can do to a human body!


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Bob Leonard

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2014, 05:32:06 am »

Shouldn't need locks and fences-if they were taught correctly.

IMO the "victims" ought to be sued and held responsible for damages they caused to the equipment as well as the cost of the emergency responders.  And then made to work until the damages and medical bills were paid off.


Work as what? Charbroil Briquettes? Fireplace logs? Background in a Smokey Bear commercial?
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2014, 06:54:54 am »

The power companies should be sued for constructing their cables from valuable materials like copper.  Close enough to setting a man trap, your honor.

If power companies had put safety above ALL other concerns, they would have built their cables with a cheap, nontoxic, undesireable, insulating core (maybe made from recycled drink bottles) rather than using an expensive conductor like copper.
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Re: Man Dies After Touching Power Line
┬ź Reply #15 on: July 19, 2014, 06:54:54 am ┬╗


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