Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

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Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  topgroove on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:57 am

Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo
Friday, April 20, 2012


SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- A man died after touching a live wire carrying 12,000 volts. It started when a mylar balloon got tangled in the high voltage lines. The man tried to pick up the power line, but before he knew what hit him, it was too late. It happened in San Mateo on South Norfolk Street.

PG&E initially told us that the cause of the line falling was because of a mylar balloon that hit the line, caused it to short, and then explode.

Lupe Fili Moehala-Latu and her family were stunned at about 6:30 Friday night when the lights went out.
"I heard three explosions," said Moehala-Latu.

The explosions were caused by a 12,000 power line coming down on the 1600 block of South Norfolk Street. The culprit according to PG&E was a mylar balloon.
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/north_bay&id=8630559



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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  rcdallas on Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:44 pm

Do the companies you work for put on arcing demo education for the general public? If so, has their been a decline in how many are put on from years past to present?

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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  topgroove on Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:13 pm

I used to do the live line demo every year at the air show in niagara falls, we had the trailer all set up and could show some impresive arcs, burn some hotdogs to show what it does to flesh. Our last demo was back in 2002. I guess its just not in the budget. We use to use 10k fuses and use a little duck seal and gunpowder to make the show intresting.
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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  hotwiretamer on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:54 pm

I think Mylar balloons should be outlawed. We have all sorts of problems with them. I can't say I have ever had to put back up a line that burned down because of them, yet though.

Public education goes a long way, and I think the last place budget cuts should be is when it is dealing with public safety!
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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  Woodwalker128 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:25 pm

We have a hot line demo that we do for the public whenever it is requested. It seems to be pretty popular because we put on a demo about once a month.

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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  rcdallas on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:21 am

Do you work for a large utility woodwalker?

Our company doesn't really put them on anymore...it's all to do with budgets. They do have a course you go through to be trained in arcing demo. Have the equipment just the time set aside isn't there. Heard of some that would volunteer to do it off the clock on a Saturday.

Nothing more then a 5kva transformer and a capacitor all done up to make it look industrial pretty all it is.

In the last month or so we've had a rash of people coming into contact with primary and secondary from cutting trees; had a painter in a rented aerial device who made contact on an open-wye line. Crying or Very sad


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Re: Man killed by downed power line in San Mateo

Post  Woodwalker128 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:03 pm

I work for a small cooperative in Ohio. We started out doing demos for fire depts and 4h clubs and grew from there. The shows are changed slightly depending on the audience.

We have been very fortunate that very few public contacts have been made on our lines lately (although there have been a few instances of the public grabbing fallen lines that were dead). I sincerely hope that the demos help prevent at least a few accidents.

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