230,000 volts send construction worker to hospital-by By Robert Airoldi
FREMONT -- A 22-year-old construction worker received severe 2nd & 3rd degree burns caused by an electric shock from a 230KV power line Monday morning. The employee was semi-conscious and in critical condition when he left the construction site via helicopter. The employee was hit with the full force of 230,000 volts, arcing through his body. The employee was using a self-operated boom lift, when his head apparently violated the safety zone of the energized line and it arced, from the electrical conductor, shooting 230,000 volts of electricity through his body. Firefighters doing an equipment check at the S. Grimmer Boulevard fire station heard the explosion and saw the lights in the station flicker. Moments later, the call came in. The employee was unable to lower the boom himself, so firefighters rescued him using a nearby lift, staying far enough away from the electrical conductor to safely retrieve him.
The passage of electricity through the body can cause severe burns, shock and death. Perhaps the most notable accidental electric shock occurred in May 2000 when a television reporter -- sitting in the front passenger seat of a her television van -- received an electric shock when the microwave antenna mast came in contact with 34,000-volt power lines. She suffered through 10 operations, 33 transfusions and the amputation of a leg, arm and part of a hand and foot. She also suffered third-degree burns to both feet, both forearms and a hand when the power coursed through the vehicle and her body.
Although the voltage was significantly higher in first accident, he never came in direct contact with the line.