By Bethannie Harriman – EM TV, Lae
A teenage boy was electrocuted last night at Lae’s Four Mile area, from an exposed power line after it broke off a street power pole.
A witness says the boy was killed instantly after he touched a wire fence with electricity current running through it.
The boy identified as 17-year-old, Andrew Bill from Mumeng in the Bulolo District, was out with his friends at a coffee shop when he was electrocuted. The power line broke off from the main pole during last night’s heavy rain downpour and fell onto a fence at around 7pm last night; electricity was travelling through the fence when Andrew touched it.
“He was rigid when he got electrocuted, after they switched of the power he was thrown out,” says an eye witness, Elijah Salo.
Elijah Salo, a friend of the young man, was still in shock when spoken to this morning, he said after checking Andrew’s pulse, they rushed him to the hospital.
Doctors at the Angau Memorial Hospital declared the boy dead on arrival; his mother was told this morning of the accident by friends, she rushed to the hospital and found that her son had already died.
The body of the young man was then taken to his home deep in the Four Mile area where relatives and friends gathered to grieve.
The power poles in the area are very old, a power pole just 20 metres from where the boy was killed has become a death trap and needs replacing.
“We had told PNG Power staff to come fix Power poles around the four mile area, but they didn’t,” says Community leader, Leo Raka.
The Four Mile area of Lae is known for its high crime rate; and services delivery into the area is slow.
Members of the boy’s family and a community leader met with Lae’s PNG Power top management this morning, demanding action and expressed disappointment over the state of power poles in the area.
Lae’s PNG Power Management is now working on a report to send to headquarters in Port Moresby for the head of insurance to decide appropriate measures to take.
“We are sorry for the loss, please I appeal to the Four Mile community to allow our workers to get power supply back into the area,” says PNG Power Momase Regional Inspector, Ronnie Kopi.