The National, Tuesday July 9th, 2013
A PRIMARY school student in Minj, Jiwaka, died instantly after he was electrocuted by a fallen high voltage power line on Wednesday last week.
He was identified as Joe Fred, 15, who was on school holidays at the time.
His father, Fred Arre, a former PNG Power Ltd electrical foreman, blamed the power utility for the incident, saying the sagging steel stay-wire running from the high voltage (22,000v) line above and passing down to the low voltage (240-415v) line below to the ground level should have been re-tensioned.
Arre said that strong winds, heavy rain and earthquakes could cause the highly conductive steel stay-wire to sag and hang loose. This posed imminent danger to the unsuspecting public.
He added that his son would still be alive if the sagging steel stay-wire was re-tensioned by PNG Power as the steel pole was at the gateway to the Minj Hotel, which he claimed was frequently used by its employees coming into work in the area over the past years.
“This is a safety conscious industry but non attendance to prevent such regrettable accidents has deprived ones right to existence,” Arre said.
He also said Minj town and its surroundings had not enjoyed a healthy power supply with constant blackouts as only one transformer was serving the whole area.