How to get electricuted...tell your wife and kids


Old 07-28-05, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 247
How to get electricuted...tell your wife and kids

This has nothing to do with wiring, but it almost got two people killed a week ago. While this may seem like a rant, if you ever have to investigate a fatality, you tend to get a little emotional.

A truck runs off the road and snaps off a power pole, killing both occupants. The wires become entangled in the wreckage. The next vehicle coming down the road stops to help. The rescuers run over to the vehicle and get hit with 7200 volts. Fortunately, both survived unscathed.


The relays and breakers that trip a power line work essentially the same way the breaker in your house does. They sense a current flow above a pre-determined level and trip.


Unlike your house breaker, power line breakers automatically reclose on their own. Up to four times! So even if the line opens initially, it will close back in several times before it locks out. The rescuers in the event above "backhanded" the line to see if it was dead. (At 7200 volts, this will kill you anyway). But when it didn't do anything, they thought it was safe. After they were already on the line, the breaker closed back in and knocked the @#%&$#@& out of them. They are lucky to be alive, much less still have hands and feet.

High voltage burns! People lose hands, feet, and spend months getting skin grafts. IF they live.

The scary part about this is even the EMS people responding to the accident weren't aware of the danger!

Where we live, there is lots of sand. A line falls on the ground and stays hot. Why? Think about it. Sand is what they make glass out of...and glass is an insulator. A 7200 volt line can lay on a dry sandy surface and not draw any more current than it did when it was 30 feet in the air. It can stay energized indefinitely.

Anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, can come across a downed power line. Treat it like a rattlesnake, don't go anywhere near it. Being on the ground doesn't mean a thing!

The scenario above isn't made up, it happened and it was only the grace of God that there were only two fatalities, not four. Please tell your family.
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Old 07-28-05, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Yes that is something I doubt very many families are aware. Those rescuers had lady luck on their side that day. They ran a video on the tube a while back of a hot air balloon caught in high voltage power liones. The initial contact flew sparks then the breaker tripped and all looked well...about 30 seconds later it reclosed and blew the balloon in half so to speak. Dont remember if the occupants survived.
Old 07-29-05, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Brethren, Mi
Posts: 1,648
I wasnt paying attn about a month ago and hit a service drop (which is really too low) bad thing but it happend and I seen the flash. I look back and see it tangled in the truck but I look before I get out to make sure it was pulled from the transformer which it did.
Another case, a couple of yrs ago a friend of mine was Christmas shopping, truck full of kids presents and he skids off the road, hits a poco pole. He isnt injured but climbs out of his truck and steps right into the wet ditch, was energized with hi voltage, killed instantly day before the holidays. I work with cranes and its one of the first things I check, where are the power lines, especially the hi V ones.

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