Massachusetts utility worker suffers burns in explosion

A Reading, Massachusetts, utility worker was injured on the job last week. According to officials, the 39-year-old worker severe burn injuries when he was in a bucket truck repairing a circuit breaker on a utility pole and an explosion occurred. The worker was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Sept. 19 when the worker, who is a lineman with the Reading Municipal Light Department, was repairing equipment that had been damaged in a storm the night before. A spokesman with the Reading Fire Department said the worker “caught about 8,000 volts” of electricity when the mishap occurred.

The fire department spokesman said that the worker’s arms, abdomen and back were badly burned, and his clothes reportedly caught on fire. The worker is said to have suffered second-degree burns and is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Neighbors in the area said they knew something had gone wrong when they heard the loud explosion. One neighbor said the crew was in the area repairing power lines that had been hit by downed trees. The neighbor, who said the scene looked like a fireworks display, said she called 911 after hearing the worker’s screams.

An investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the explosion. At this point no other details have been released.

Hopefully, the worker recovers fully from his injuries. Because this accident occurred on the job, it is likely that he will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help cover his medical bills, lost wages and any other costs associated with the accident.

Source: 7 News, “Utility worker injured repairing wires in Reading,” Steve Cooper, Sept. 19, 2012