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Author Topic: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor  (Read 5539 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2018, 05:21:49 pm »

I'm surprised that the lack of bonding was overlooked- that is the main thing my inspectors look at-too many drivers in a box is something from an install manual that may or may not be available to the inspectors.

The reason I argued that lack of bonding is the primary cause is because even if rest of the install was perfect-the possibility still exists for a driver to fail energizing the rail.  Circuit breakers and fuses provide a great deal of protection-but proper bonding is a must for them to do their job.

Nothing to argue over ( obviously this is arm chair quarter backing) I simply wanted to make the point that bonding of metal handrails/ staging is critically important whether at the MGM or your next gig.
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Steve Swaffer

David Buckley

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2018, 06:17:41 pm »

The reason I argued that lack of bonding is the primary cause...

One can argue over whether it is the primary cause or not, but of all that long list of bad stuff, it is the one thing that would have definitely saved a life, and as you note earlier, the case for having that metallic item grounded is strong.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2018, 09:53:29 pm »

This story is back in the new today, with reports of not only several different code violations and improper installation procedures, but also that it may never have been inspected. And the police appear to be looking to attach blame (and liability) to whoever did the installation. So the next time someone asks you to cut corners on an installation, consider the consequences and liability if something goes wrong.

PALMER PARK, Md. — Four months after a 6-year-old girl visiting MGM National Harbor suffered an electric shock, she remains hospitalized with very serious injuries. The girl was hurt June 26 after touching an outdoor handrail near a fountain. And Prince George’s County Police are now shifting the focus of their investigation into why it happened.

“The investigation up to this point has not found a single point of failure, and has not identified a single bad actor,” Police Chief Hank Stawinski said at a Thursday afternoon news conference at police headquarters.

He said the investigation is widening to look at MGM National Harbor’s design, permitting, installation and inspection.

“The question we need to answer is: How did all of those elements get assembled so incorrectly as to lead to her injury?” said Stawinski. “I am not ruling out criminal responsibility.”

The chief was asked if police are looking at the possibility that public corruption played a role.

“The issue of public corruption has always been a part of our investigation. It’s not a new factor that we’re introducing into it, and the facts will take us where the facts take us,” he answered.

Stawinski says from the start of the investigation, his department has been receiving technical assistance from the FBI, and that will continue. He’s not sure how long the investigation will take, and asked for the community’s patience.

“This is extraordinarily complex. This will take time,” he said.

“We will spare no resource in learning what happened to her,” added County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “We believe that she deserves answers, and her family deserves answers.”
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2019, 08:03:16 pm »

A story in the Washington Post on the impact of this on the victims and their family.

"In November, Zynae’s family sued MGM, Rosendin Electric and Whiting-Turner. Rosendin was an electrical contractor on the project, and Whiting-Turner acted as the general contractor.

“This is tragic and never should have happened. This family, no family, deserves something like this to happen,” Morelli said.

In separate court filings, the three co-defendants deny negligence and liability, blaming one another or circumstances out of their control for the incident."

Aside from not wanting to be a defendant in such cases I can't imagine having responsibility for what happened to this little girl, her brother, and her mom & dad.

"And in the living room, with the wheelchair and rounds of animated movies, Rosier holds her hopes close as she talks to her now-silent daughter.

“How are you feeling, Zy? You feeling good today?” she asks Zynae.

“Blink three times for Mommy to let me know you’re feeling good.”

Rosier waits. Zynae blinks once. Twice. And then a third time.

“That’s my baby,” Rosier says.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2019, 12:56:29 am »

I am a retired commercial electrician/foreman. There is a minimum depth that conduit has to be outside underground in commercial construction. The electrical code and possible local codes that have greater depths are what you go by. The foreman is suppose to see to it that his crew is doing the job according to code. I have met and worked under some really stupid and incompetent foremen. The electrical inspector is suppose to be the safety margin that catches work that is not to code. After reading through all the pages here it is my "opinion" that the conduit was not installed at the correct depth. A concrete drill bit went through the conduit possibly nicking the hot wire(s). Its possible to do and not have sparks or get shocked due to the double insulation of commercial power tools. A metal rail post anchor came in temporary contact with the wire do to ground vibrations that are not normally felt of wires shifting a tad. The contact was but for a moment and at the same time the child was touching the rail. The wire shifted enough to no longer be in contact with the anchor. The anchor could be anywhere in the rail setup. Finding it might be accomplished via x-ray or turning the power off and removing 1 anchor at a time and putting a cell camera that you stick in small holes to see if wires are in view(some my not understand this process). Of course the companies involved are going to fight the lawsuit. The electrical inspector also needs to be sued for not making sure the conduit was installed at the proper depth. I never trust someone elses electrical work. I have seen too much dangerous shit done by others.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2019, 10:51:29 pm »

You could be right about drilling through conduit-but its possible that it happened even with the conduit installed at the right depth.  I walked into a house that I was wiring one day to find 3" sheetrock screws laying around with the sheetrockers stuff.  With interior 2" X 4" walls, how could I put wires far enough from the surface to be safe?  (I was glad I was using AFCI breakers in that job.  That particular house burned to the ground a year after it was built.  I thought sure I would wind up with an insurance claim on that one.)  That's one of the challenges of a construction job-and for that matter a live sound gig.  There is more than one way to for things to go wrong-and you usually don't have control over everything.  That's part of the reason code seems like overkill at times.  That's also why it's not a good idea to do something that usually  "works"-like cutting off ground prongs, bootleg grounds etc..

That's why I questioned the lack of bonding on the railing earlier.  99.99% of the time bonding that railing would be redundant and really unnecessary.  Why do it?  I think the answer is obvious.

I'm hardest on the maintenance techs I supervise over safety issues. I've told them I do not want to face their family in a hospital or at a funeral home because I failed to enforce safety protocols.  It only takes once.
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Steve Swaffer

Frank Koenig

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2019, 11:47:13 am »

I'd suggest that lack of bonding/grounding is a secondary cause. The root (or primary) cause is whatever causes something that should not be energized to become energized. Bonding/grounding provides a secondary means of protection should the primary means of protection (electrical insulation or connecting things properly) fail.

But that's just nitpicking language.

Nitpicking perhaps, but correct. -F
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2019, 11:12:09 pm »

After asking a fellow commercial electrician and doing research how would you suggest bonding metal railing thats anchored to concrete ? Technically its already grounded via stainless steel anchors in concrete. I have never seen a ground strap at the base of a railing pole. I have been on many jobs where metal railing was installed and there was never anything on the plans about having a ground strap. Nothing is foolproof and imo it was the incompetence of the electrician to not look at the architectural plans before running the conduit to see where NOT to put it. If the electrician had looked at the plans he would have seen exactly where the railing was to be installed and put the conduit in a different location. We always have a complete set of plans so we dont put our conduit where it will interfere of be damaged by the other trades. The conduit was installed in the wrong location.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2019, 12:43:54 pm »

From an article linked to in a previous post:

Investigators looking into the electrocution of a 6-year-old girl who was critically injured at MGM National Harbor say a device that controls the flow of electricity to lights on a handrail she touched was improperly installed, according to a preliminary assessment obtained by The Washington Post.

That faulty installation, combined with other flaws in how wiring and the handrail were hooked up at the Maryland complex, enabled 120 volts of electricity to be jolted into the girl — 10 times the amount that should have been powering the handrail lighting, according to the early findings.


Apparently this was not just a metal handrail, but a handrail lighted with "low voltage" wiring.  That makes it subject (in my opinion) to the NEC requirement that anything "likely" to become energized needs to be bonded to the building ground.  Electricians know that "bonding" is different than "grounding" and bonding requires a metalic path to the bonding point on the service-concrete does not meet that requirement.
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Steve Swaffer

Jerome Malsack

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Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2019, 03:01:22 pm »

Another point to note is in the news the Family has the little girl in a wheel chair and the mother had to leave her job to care for the child.  This has put the family in financial problems until they complete the process.
https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Family-of-Girl-Shocked-at-MGM-Fountain-Planning-to-Sue-500809161.html
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 03:05:29 pm by Jerome Malsack »
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Two shocked at MGM National Harbor
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2019, 03:01:22 pm »


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