Utility worker injured repairing wires in Reading
READING, Mass. (WHDH) -- A utility worker was injured while working on power lines was rushed to the hospital with bad burns on Wednesday.
Officials said a 39-year-old utility worker was burned just after 8 a.m. at the intersection of Pleasant and Eaton Streets in Reading. The victim, who works as a lineman for the Reading Municipal Light Department, was in a bucket truck repairing a circuit breaker on a utility pole when there was an explosion.
“Utility worker was up in a bucket, caught about 8,000 volts while turning off a switch repairing damage from the storm last night. Suffered burns to his arms, abdomen and back,” said Paul Dalton of the Reading Fire Department.
The victim, whose clothes caught on fire, was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital. He is suffering from second-degree burns.
Neighbors said the explosion looked like the fourth of July. Anna Bruce, who called 911, said they were working on the lines because of a downed tree.
“Nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” said Bruce. “If you think about Fourth of July fireworks and all the sparks and all of that, he was screaming.”
The head of the light department told 7News the victim suffered flash burns while repairing a circuit.
“When we arrived he was walking...with his shirt off. We could see the burns right away, which was easier than to find him on the ground or something like that,” said David Ferreira, a paramedic.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. Power has since been restored to the neighborhood.