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#70761 - 10/12/06 06:38 PM Suicide by bolt cutter  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
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.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#70762 - 10/12/06 07:30 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
ShockMe77  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
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.


#70763 - 10/12/06 10:39 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
ExpressQuote  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 83
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!


#70764 - 10/12/06 11:45 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
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


#70765 - 10/13/06 06:20 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
SteveFehr  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
Chesapeake, VA
Sounds like the Darwin Awards are going to have some stiff competition this year!


#70766 - 10/13/06 09:20 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
mxslick  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
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).]


Stupid should be painful.

#70767 - 10/19/06 02:28 PM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
jkochan  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Phoenix, AZ USA
Wow..what kind of voltages are involved to get that kind of damage?


#70768 - 10/20/06 09:27 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
CTwireman  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
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! [Linked Image]

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).]


Peter

#70769 - 10/20/06 09:45 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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.


#70770 - 10/22/06 08:29 AM Re: Suicide by bolt cutter  
WFO  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 202
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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