Oncor worker airlifted to hospital after electrical accident - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Oncor worker airlifted to hospital after electrical accident

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RUSK, TX (KLTV) - An Oncor Electric employee was flown to the hospital after an accident occurred while a crew was changing a pole on Wednesday morning in Rusk.

According to an Oncor spokesman, there was an electrical flash, and the employee was either burned or shocked. The company is still working on gathering facts about the incident.

The victim was taken to the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas for treatment.

Power was out for about half the city, but was restored just before 2 p.m.
An electrical flash occurs when two wires touch each other or a wire contacts another grounded object.

Rusk resident Larann Lewis-Waddell said she didn’t see a flash, but she definitely heard it.

“This really loud buzz, like someone was using an electric razor,” Lewis-Waddell said. "There was a huge power surge. All the lights dimmed in the whole house, and it was like an exponential dim. It wasn't just like the breaker box did something."

Residents who live near where the accident happened said they lost power for about five seconds, but those in the downtown area weren’t so fortunate. Fifty-four customers lost power.

“Everything from what I hear is shut down. It must have been a major line,” said David Goughnour, a Cherokee County courthouse employee.

That didn’t stop Rachel Oden from keeping her coffee shop, the Daily Grind, open for the day.

“I’m just partly open. I wasn’t able to do lunches or anything today, but I had desserts and stuff ready,” Oden said.

For employees in the County Clerk’s Office, it was business as usual, minus indoor lighting and air conditioning.

“The records here in the courthouse are physical not electrical, so we are able. As long as we have light, we can work,” Goughnour said.

Oncor Spokesperson Charles Hill called the electrical flash abnormal and said crews are still investigating to find out what caused the accident.

The name of the injured employee has not been released.

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