WELLTON, Ariz. — A man was critically burned by electricity as he handled
a copper ground wire on a power pole in the southwestern Arizona community of
Wellton, authorities said Wednesday.
The identity of the man injured Tuesday wasn’t released, but spokeswoman Judy
Keane of the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix said he
was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Keane declined to elaborate but the Yuma Sun reported
that doctors amputated one of the man’s legs.
“He was doing something with the power. We’re not clear on what he was
doing,” said EMS Chief Barry Adams of Tri-Valley EMS, an ambulance service,
adding later, “I know he came into contact with it and he had burns on both of
A Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District official said the man had cut
the 50-foot-long ground wire on a pole along a dirt road near Interstate 8 and
was shaking it to dislodge it when it touched a part live with electricity
A resulting short-circuit interrupted power for approximately 2,500 customer
for about an hour, said Fermin Ruiz, power operations superintendent for
Alfonso Zavala, a spokesman for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, said the
office was investigating but that no information was immediately available from
the deputy involved.