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Workman electrocuted in New Kingston

Published:Saturday | February 1, 2020 | 12:00 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
A Jamaica Public Service Company crewman assesses the point of contact where the metal rod intersects with power lines, which caused a workman to be electrocuted on Friday. The freak accident occurred as the worker assembled scaffolding around a building at 52-60 Dumfries Road in New Kingston.

A 21-year-old workman operating from scaffolding at 52-60 Dumfries Road in New Kingston was electrocuted and rushed to hospital early yesterday afternoon.

The freak accident occurred about 12:40.

The man’s identity was not disclosed by the police but he is known as Mr Rommel, The Gleaner understands.

According to a painter who is also contracted to refurbish the building, the man was assembling the remainder of the scaffolding around the building, which commenced on Thursday.

Rommel was handed a piece of metal which got entangled in power lines, the police said.

His condition was unknown up to 9 o’clock last night.

Barrington Roy was on the scene when the victim was being removed from the scaffolding to an ambulance.

“Dem seh da piece a metal deh touch di wire and it electrocute him. Him bun up, man! Him skin coming down to flesh, but him foot was moving. Meanwhile, him was coming down because him was trying to help out himself,” Roy said.

Heard screams

June Satchell-Logan, who was inside the building, recalled hearing screams and other noises.

She explained that the response crew was timely but could have been more effective if they were equipped with a specialised thermal blanket to regulate Rommel’s temperature.

“They tried to get him down because, of course, the current was holding him there ... . He was still alive when he left, and we’re hoping and praying that he will still be alive,” Satchell-Logan said.

Several organisations in the business district, among them Guardian Group, J. Wray & Nephew, and The Towers, and some traffic lights also went out of commission.

While some companies resumed business with the aid of generators, staff from other establishments assembled on the outside.

“Our generator is now smoking, so we are all on the outside just waiting for someone to come and do the assessment, and until the JPS power comes back,” a Ministry of Health employee said.