LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles Department of Water and Power worker remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition with serious injuries he sustained while working on overhead power lines in Encino this week.
According to authorities, a journeyman line worker was working with his crew Thursday to replace a power pole as part of LADWP’s Power Reliability Program in the 17000 block of Rancho Street.
Just before 11:30 a.m., the worker made contact with electrical wires that carried 4,800 volts of electricity. He was knocked unconscious as a result.
“We are all praying for the best outcome,” LADWP Power System Senior Assistant General Manager Randy Howard said. “We are also grateful for the fast action of his co-workers who performed a rescue under hazardous conditions. Their work was nothing short of heroic.”
Officials said he was rescued by co-workers who lowered him from the pole. An apprentice line worker revived him and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a news release stated.
When the Los Angeles Fire Department crews arrived on scene, they continued to provide aid to the worker and transferred him to a hospital where he was treated for serious burns and internal injuries.
“When a worker makes contact with a live, high-voltage electrical line, they experience very serious burns that can also affect major organs,” said Howard.
According to officials, he has since been transferred to another hospital that is better equipped for treatment. Family and co-workers remain at his side.
“We are praying for our brave co-worker to pull through this and make a full recovery,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “Our linemen and other power and water crew members face hazardous, high-risk conditions every day as part of their regular job duties. Their work, and the risks they face, unfortunately, often go unnoticed until a tragic accident like that one that occurred yesterday.”
LADWP officials said the incident caused a short power disruption that affected 460 customers. Crews said all power was restored to all customers by 1:25 p.m.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.