11 000 volts kill copper cable ‘thief’
By Nqobile Tshili
A SUSPECTED copper cables thief was yesterday found dead hanging on an electric pole in Queens Park East suburb in Bulawayo after being electrocuted by a 11 000 volts power line.
The yet to be identified man was discovered in the morning by residents who were working in their fields before alerting emergency services.
A Zesa official who declined to be named said 11 000 volts can power up to three medium density suburbs.
The officials said the deceased’s action disrupted power supplies to Mahatshula suburb.
When a Chronicle news screw arrived at the scene at about 11:30AM, Zesa officials and emergency departments personnel were already on site, conducting investigations.
The victim’s body which was almost a lump of charcoal, was later removed by members of the Bulawayo Fire Brigade.
Residents said they were shocked to learn that electricity could burn a person to that extent.
The residents said they suspect the victim was working with a syndicate as there were no tools found at the scene.
A resident Mr Rodger Matshiya said he hoped others will learn that tampering with power lines is suicidal.
“His body was discovered by one of my boys who was working in the fields before I rushed to the scene. What he did is just like committing suicide, he knew that electricity kills, everyday we’re told that electricity kills. How much does he get from this?” said Matshiya.
Another resident Mr Zibusiso Khumalo said his death will be a lesson to like minded people.
Bulawayo’s Chief Fire Officer Mr Richard Peterson said his office received a call alerting them that someone was trapped on an electrical pole at 11.23 AM.
He said upon arrival his team had to liaise with Zesa officials to cut off power supplies before they lowered his body to the ground.
“We received a call that someone was trapped and hanging on a power line at 11:23AM and arrived at the scene at 11:30AM. The power is 11 000 volts hence we had to collaborate with Zesa personnel to cut off supplies so that we could remove the body,” he said.
Mr Peterson said a life was needlessly lost and called on members of the public to desist from tampering with power lines. The Chronicle