Dou­ble tragedy

Two die af­ter re­ceiv­ing elec­tric shocks

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - by Natalie Wynne natalie. wynne@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

TOWNSVILLE’S elec­tri­cal con­trac­tors are up­set but not sur­prised af­ter the deaths of two lo­cal men yes­ter­day from elec­tric shocks.

The deaths prompted a warn­ing from one Townsville elec­tri­cian who said such tragedies were in­evitable be­cause cy­clone dam­age had made many build­ings treach­er­ous.

Des­per­ate at­tempts were made yes­ter­day by am­bu­lance of­fi­cers to save a man who suf­fered an elec­tric shock while work­ing on air­con­di­tion­ing duct­ing at the Land­mark build­ing in Gar­butt.

A 23-year-old man also died yes­ter­day af­ter spend­ing a week in in­ten­sive care fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent at Blue­wa­ter Park last Wed­nes­day.

In the lat­est in­ci­dent, QAS was called to the Land­mark build­ing to find a 52-year-old un­con­scious.

Po­lice be­lieved ex­posed elec­tri­cal wires touch­ing metal frame­work caused the in­ci­dent.

A QAS spokes­woman said crews per­formed CPR but he was un­able to be re­vived.

A QFRS spokesman said fire of­fi­cers were first on scene.

‘‘ They shut off the power to the build­ing,’’ he said. ‘‘ Of­fi­cers then helped QAS in the re­sus­ci­ta­tion.’’

Queens­land Po­lice me­dia said a re­port would be pre­pared for the coro­ner, with Work­place Health and Safety to in­ves­ti­gate.

Land­mark man­age­ment re­fused to speak with the Townsville Bull

etin about the in­ci­dent yes­ter­day.

The 23-year-old man was taken to hos­pi­tal last Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing an elec­tric shock at a busi­ness on Webb Drive.

Queens­land Health re­fused to com­ment on the man’s cause of death.

Elec­tri­cal con­trac­tors are now urg­ing one an­other to take spe­cial care work­ing with wiring, es­pe­cially on dam­aged build­ings.

Elec­tri­cian John McLean of Arawa Hay Elec­tri­cal said deaths in his line of work were in­evitable.

‘‘ If you’re play­ing with fire you may get burnt, that’s the re­al­ity,’’ he said.

Mr McLean has been an elec­tri­cian for the past 24 years and said these two tragedies high­lighted the dan­gers work­ers faced ev­ery­day.

‘‘ Cau­tion should al­ways be of the ut­most im­por­tance, es­pe­cially when work­ing on cy­clone-dam­age build­ings’’ he said. ‘‘ It’s im­por­tant we all fol­low the rule book.’’

Mr McLean said he be­lieved elec­tri­cal safety laws weren’t to blame.

‘‘ These deaths are tragic but safety is up to the in­di­vid­ual at the end of the day,’’ he said.

Authorities last night re­fused to re­lease both men’s names.

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