Murray River man severely burned cutting copper wire

Published on August 13, 2014
Murray Harbour
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A 74-year-old Murray River man is in critical condition after he was severely burned by 600 volts of electricity Monday as he was cutting wires.

Staff Sgt. Dave Thibeau said the incident occurred at the old Mariner's Seafood building in Murray Harbour.

RCMP were called by the Fire Marshal's Office to investigate an incident. The Murray River man was apparently gathering scrap metal and cutting wires in an abandoned building when one of the wires cut was still a live wire.

While police aren't coming right out saying the man was stealing wire, the investigation has led them to believe he wasn't supposed to be there.

"He certainly didn't have permission to be there to cut the wire, and he was cutting wire,'' Thibeau told The Guardian.

The male received severe burns and was transported by Island EMS to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and then transported to Halifax where he remains in critical condition.

The RCMP issued a news release on Wednesday, stating that "this unfortunate incident brings to light the dangers of cutting and taking wires from property that you do not own. There have been numerous reports over the last few years of copper pipes and wires being stolen for scrap metal. 

"Not only is this a crime, but the event this week proves that it can also be very dangerous, as in this case live wiring may be present.''

First Responders and Maritime Electric employees who attend these situations are also placed in danger, the RCMP release stated.

The incident is under investigation and charges may be considered.