Fatal accident was result of electricity breach, APUA says

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APUA say a neighbouring property was being supplied by a temporary service that breached the National Electrical Code (Photos courtesy APUA)
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An accident which apparently killed a 22-year-old man by electrocution is said to be the result of a breach in electrical installation.

Judah Bowers was said to have been hanging out clothes in his Green Bay backyard when the clothesline apparently made contact with an energised electrical wire that was connected to a fence.

Police say a relative found him unresponsive on the ground on Tuesday evening and called 911. He was transported to the hospital by EMS and pronounced dead shortly after 9.30pm that night.

A statement from APUA yesterday confirmed that the state utility firm had attended the scene to investigate.

“Our preliminary investigations found that the property where the incident occurred shares a fence with an apartment building. The apartment building electricity service was being supplied by a temporary service that breached the National Electrical Code and APUA’s standard,” it said.

“An extension cord connected the apartment building running along and intertwined through a shared chain link fence. Over a period of time and exposure to the elements of the weather, the insulation on the extension cord deteriorated exposing metal wire and establishing contact with the chain link fence.

“This would have resulted in the fence becoming energised and, in essence, an extension of the circuit.

“Further investigation revealed that the clothesline for the victim was attached between the chain link fence post and a tree in the yard that tragically electrocuted the resident.”

APUA appealed to residents to desist from unsafe practices.

“We strongly caution customers to only engage with qualified electricians for their internal wiring requirements,” the statement continued.

“APUA only approve temporary electrical supply to assist with the construction and repair of buildings. Temporary electrical supply should not be used for regular domestic accommodation outside of construction and repair purposes.

“These safety-compromised practices reduce the quality of electricity powering your home and may result in the loss of life or property.”

The company said its staff would undertake a vigorous audit of temporary services and compliance.

“Customers are again encouraged to become regularised by applying for permanent service to avoid disruption of services,” the statement said, adding, “APUA wishes to express condolences to the family and friends mourning the loss of their loved one.”

Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas told Observer that, regardless of APUA’s probe, police were “duty bound to conduct an investigation into the matter to determine what happened to the young man”.

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