A Kaohsiung resident was electrocuted after reaching out to the street light to steady herself while walking in the rain. A witness came to her aid by dragging her away with a stick and performed CPR. The 39-year-old victim is still in critical condition while the source of the leakage is under investigation.
A 39-year-old woman holding an umbrella was walking in front of the Sanmin Post Office in Kaohsiung's Fengshan District on July 19. Heavy rain earlier in the day had caused water to accumulate in several places. As she walked past a power box and a street light, she reached out to the street light pole, probably to steady herself. She then fell to the ground. It was thought that the woman had been electrocuted, and she was sent to a hospital for treatment. The outlook is not too optimistic, as she has been connected to an ECMO machine.
Resident:”It's dangerous to walk on the sidewalks and by the roadside. If you walk on the sidewalk, you could be electrocuted to death. If you walk on the road, a car could kill you. So where am I supposed to walk?”
Mr. Hsueh, Parking Lot Staff:”I also received shocks. The water was tingling, so I tried to use something to hook onto her to drag her away.”
The manager of a parking lot where the incident occurred said he was also shocked before while in the same location. After he saw the woman fall, he took a bamboo pole, hooked the woman's backpack, and dragged her away. He also administered CPR. Following the incident, Taiwan Power Company sent personnel to carry out tests. They found that the street light pole and a ditch cover were emitting 175 volts. There was no voltage from the power box.
The Kaohsiung City Government said the location where the woman fell had power sources for Taipower, a police station, the district office, and street lights belonging to the Public Works Bureau, and it will require further investigation to determine where the electricity was leaking.
Chu Kuan-fu, Section Chief, Kaohsiung City Public Works Bureau:”There are Taipower switchboards, the power source for the police station's surveillance cameras, the power source for our street lights, and a street light installed by the district office. There were circuit breakers, and they would have tripped if electricity leakage occurred.”
Voice of Kao Feng-ming, Deputy Director, Fengshan Branch, Taiwan Power Co.:”We measured the street lamps operated by the maintenance office, and the voltage to ground value was 175 volts, which could indicate electricity leakage.”
The city government is trying to determine the source of the electricity leakage. It also sent personnel to call on the victim's family. If it is determined that the Public Works Bureau was at fault, then it will be held accountable.