Black-out due to struck electricity cable

2013-10-24 00:00

A WORKER at a building site in Manchester Road narrowly escaped death when he struck an electricity cable.

However, he caused a major black-out that forced businesses and factories in the area to shut down for three hours.

The worker, who was in shock and suffered minor injuries, refused to be named. Onlookers said he was saved by the wooden handle on his pick. The incident happened at about 11 am and power was restored around 2 pm.

Peter Clark, whose electrical company employs the worker, said they were subcontracted to the Msunduzi Municipality to dig up the cable, which was to be upgraded to serve a newly constructed shopping complex in Manchester Road. Clark said municipal servitudes normally have cable markers, but there were none in this case.

With contractors digging several trenches in the Raisethorpe and Newholmes area, there have been a number of power black-outs caused by workers striking cables, leading residents to ask why they did not have plans of the servitudes in the areas.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said companies doing construction work should ensure they have plans of underground municipal infrastructure to avoid damaging it, and they should also have liability insurance for such circumstances. “Other than that, we repair the damage and bill the company,” he said.

Meanwhile, the mystery of the open trenches in the Raisethorpe area was solved at the ward 30 public meeting held on Tuesday night.

Councillor Jay Singh said he had received many queries from residents regarding the trenches. After receiving no response from municipal officials, he recently approached a contractor on site.

“The contractor told me that the trenches were being dug as part of an upgrade of the major electricity sub-station in Newholmes Way. They cannot cover them for now because cables are being replaced,” Singh said.

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