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#70761 - 10/12/06 04:38 PM Suicide by bolt cutter
Tom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I heard on the radio this week that the second fatality of the year involving a copper thief & sub-station has occured here in the Mountain State.

Seems like this occupation has a pretty steep learning curve.
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#70762 - 10/12/06 05:30 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
ShockMe77 Offline
Member
Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 821
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I found this:

Quote:
COPPER THIEF
A SECOND SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA MAN HAS BEEN ELECTROCUTED WHILE APPARENTLY TRYING TO STEAL COPPER.

STATE POLICE SAY THE BODY OF 23 YEAR OLD WILLIAM NELSON SHORT JUNIOR OF DAVY WAS FOUND AT AN ELECTRICAL SUBSTATION LAST WEEK.

STATE POLICE ARE NOT SURE IF THE SUBSTATION WAS OWNED BY APPALACHIAN POWER OR WAS CONNECTED TO A NEARBY COAL MINE.

IN AUGUST, A PINEVILLE MAN WAS ELECTROCUTED NEAR A SUBSTATION THAT SERVICED A WYOMING COUNTY COAL MINE.

http://www.wvah.com/newsroom/shows/7mon.shtml

Some people sure are dumb.
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#70763 - 10/12/06 08:39 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
ExpressQuote Offline
Member
Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 83
Loc: BC, Canada
Sounds like the Gene Pool needed a little skimming.

Maybe they'll start to figure out that even though you can't see it, Electricity kills!
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#70764 - 10/12/06 09:45 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
JoeTestingEngr Offline
Member
Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 781
Loc: Chicago, Il.
They should show the pictures of these clowns to squirrels. It might make them think twice about crawling into our transformers. Nevermind! You would probably just see squirrels in PPE, using LOTO procedures and stealing copper.
Joe
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#70765 - 10/13/06 04:20 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
SteveFehr Offline
Member
Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1195
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Sounds like the Darwin Awards are going to have some stiff competition this year!
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#70766 - 10/13/06 07:20 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
mxslick Offline
Member
Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 803
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
Here's an example of a copper thief who lost, found HERE

Follow the link in the first post...I didn't know how to extract it, sorry. You will need Microsoft Office to view that link, it is a Powerpoint file.

WARNING: The images are VERY graphic!!

edited to add follow the link...

[This message has been edited by mxslick (edited 10-13-2006).]
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#70767 - 10/19/06 12:28 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
jkochan Offline
Member
Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 61
Loc: Phoenix, AZ USA
Wow..what kind of voltages are involved to get that kind of damage?
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#70768 - 10/20/06 07:27 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
CTwireman Offline
Member
Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 840
Loc: Connecticut, USA
In the link posted, how can cutting a ground wire cause that to happen? It seems like some other incidental contact was involved. "Ground" wires aren't supposed to be carrying current, let alone high voltage, right???? I'm really confused!

I can see the utilities using scare tactics as justified to discourage copper theft, but electrically it doesn't make sense to me.

Peter

[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 10-20-2006).]
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#70769 - 10/20/06 07:45 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5316
Loc: Blue Collar Country
CT, I noticed that as well. I just didn't worry much about it because
a) the press all to often makes a mess of things; and,
b) PoCo stuff is a world onto itself.

That aside, even ground wires (as we know the term) (more correctly, the GEC, or grounding electrode conductor) is almost always carrying current, even if it is seemingly at zero potential to ground. Cut it, and you will then have a voltage potential between the two halves.

A customer of mine had a meter can come apart when the PoCo wanted to pull the meter. Since electricity takes ALL paths, ther were several points where arcing resulted, between various pipes and conduits. Some of these arcs were just inches from the ground, between conduits that entered the ground.
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#70770 - 10/22/06 06:29 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter
WFO Offline
Member
Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 202
Loc: Cat Spring, TX
Quote:
"In the link posted, how can cutting a ground wire cause that to happen? It seems like some other incidental contact was involved. "Ground" wires aren't supposed to be carrying current, let alone high voltage, right???? I'm really confused! "

This was a power bank in a substation. Most distribution systems are 4 wire wye and the neutral is the last lead coming back to the transformer. It is typically bare copper (which made it tempting) but it is also the "return" for a high voltage circuit. Open it and you get full potential across it. This is the same reason you don't go near a downed power line, even if it is the neutral. Lots of people get hurt thinking it's at "ground" potential.
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