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Topic Title: Tragic fatality
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Created On: 24 February 2014 05:05 PM
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 24 February 2014 05:05 PM
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anastasis

Posts: 586
Joined: 01 September 2009

Just spotted this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-w...h-east-wales-26326960

I always wonder in cases like this exactly what the path for the current was. It's interesting that the report notes that the poor girl who died fell onto the cable - perhaps that bit of it was also damaged and she was standing on it when she touched the ladder, or perhaps the current went to ground through damp air or the carpet. Any thoughts?
 24 February 2014 05:42 PM
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broadgage

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I think that this tragedy was disscussed on here at the time of the accident, some while ago. (a long time can elapse between loss of life, and the report from the coroners court)

Yes I too wondered what path the current took from the victim. I suspect either a single story dwelling and a damp solid floor, or alternatively that the victim was touching earthed metal such as a central heating radiator, heated towel rail, or a water pipe.

I would expect a wooden floor, whether bare or otherwise, to have a sufficiently high insulation resistance to avoid fatal shock.
Standing on a wooden upstairs floor and touching a live conductor, though best avoided is fairly low risk unless in contact with earthed metal.
It is of course possible that the young victim was unusualy sensitive to electric shock.


And of course we dont know how many children or adults have recveived minor shocks in similar circumstances and survived. The shock current might have been so small that it would only kill one person in ten thousand, and this victim was simply the extremely unlucky one.

Very sad, no matter what the detail.
 24 February 2014 05:58 PM
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AJJewsbury

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"landing" and "pyjamas" suggest 1st floor, but possibly bare-footed. Ladder was aluminium.

As broadgage says, earthed parts in the vicinity could be one explanation.

Other possibility is two separate faults from different cores on the lead - one to the ladder and the other to a foot, or perhaps to two different sections of the ladder (if the two sections didn't have good continuity between them).

Unfortunately, we can only guess.

- Andy.
 24 February 2014 06:00 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Or someone decided to "earth bond the ladder to make it safe".
- Andy.
 24 February 2014 07:24 PM
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anastasis

Posts: 586
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The BBC report quotes the victim's father as thinking that she might have held both sides of the ladder (which may of course not have been the case). I think a radiator or another exposed core of the cable are most likely.

I did shed a tear when I read this story. I don't feel comfortable calling this death an accident - it was avoidable - and I think there's a lot that needs to be done to educate people on electrical safety. I feel a degree of responsibility for that, as should everyone here and throughout the industry. I sometimes think I'm being a jobsworth when I spot a flex that is damaged or has the sheath pulled out of the cable clamp and tell the owner in no uncertain terms that it's not safe and must not be used, but quite frankly I think we should all have zero tolerance for these things.
 24 February 2014 08:11 PM
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OMS

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I guess why we have RCD's, as the default position, where there are people about, prone to carelessness, or wher systems have a failure of basic protection

Boxes of tinsel on the landing suggest that may be one conductive path to something "earthy" ?

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 25 February 2014 08:07 PM
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weirdbeard

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Tragic indeed, very sad thing to happen.

Couple of odd things to me in that report... (though I know we can't take the media available at face value)....


"her father .... thought she was just playing a prank and continued carrying the Christmas tree down from the loft."

10 minutes later, after two other members of her family had received minor shocks, that they realised what had happened

Paramedics were unable to save tragic Georgia who died when an electric current passed through her heart."

This seems to suggest that the poor girl died on the spot as it were, but 10 minutes went by before they called an ambulance and only after others got minor shocks.... this seems strange to me...??

Also, how did WPD get involved, with their engineer giving his opinion on the cause....is it common practice for the police to involve the DNO to investigate this kind of thing? (Not that I'm a conspiracy theorist or anything, but a DNO rep could possibly have a vested interest, and I would have thought there would be more suitable people to investigate this terrible incident?)
 25 February 2014 08:52 PM
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Zuiko

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The police will normally ask the DNO to get involved. Could be a reverse polarity for example; or the supply could have been tampered with, which might suggest dodgy electrics. The police might ask the DNO to isolate the supplies to the building during the investigation (I have done this for the police). I think the police just want to explore all possibilities - and that includes determining that the supply was kosher.

Edited: 26 February 2014 at 07:21 PM by Zuiko
 25 February 2014 09:59 PM
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weirdbeard

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Originally posted by: Zuiko

Could be a reverse polarity for example;



I think the police just want to explore all possibilities - and that includes determining that the supply was kosher.



Hi Zuiko, you've highlighted an example of what i was sort of thinking of ......

Although a long shot in this case , If there was a for example some kind of issue with the suppliers side of things that caused a problem, their own representative is not
likely to provide damning evidence against his own organisation.....?

I appreciate that the DNO might be called into make safe, but it seems that in this case it's the DNOs opinion that has been taken as read - surely there should be some kind of independent verification, by someone without any vested interest?
 25 February 2014 10:10 PM
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alancapon

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It is quite usual for the DNO to isolate for the fire brigade and the police, or make an installation safe. It would also be usual for the DNO to work with the police forensics team as an expert on the electrical side.

Regards,

Alan.
 25 February 2014 10:59 PM
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heakirk

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Tragic yes, but why speculate on the cause? I am certain the exact cause will be in the coroners report.
 26 February 2014 06:12 PM
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kengreen

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One factor not considered above.

Had the victim recently emerged from a hot bath or very warm bed? Such can make a very large difference to the skin conductivity and may explain why other family members received only mild shocks?

Ken Green
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