Man electrocuted in freak accident


POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2009

A 42-year-old man died last night after apparently being electrocuted as he stood near Kapiolani Boulevard.

At about 9:30 p.m., an ambulance crew responded to a report of a man down near the intersection of University Avenue and Kapiolani, said Emergency Medical Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

The victim, who was on the makai side of Kapiolani about 30 yards Ewa of University, stepped on the iron cover of an electrical junction box along the sidewalk as he touched a metal street light pole and received an electrical shock, according to a witness account given to police.

The box appeared to be the source of electricity for the street light.

Insulation on one of the power cables underneath the cover had apparently been worn away, exposing a wire, according to a source familiar with the incident who requested anonymity.

The exposed wire was touching the metal cover that the victim was standing on and when the man touched the metal light pole an electrical current ran through him, said the source, who was not authorized to speak about the investigation.

 The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The man’s identity was not released this morning.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death was scheduled this afternoon, said the city Medical Examiner’s Office.

The junction box and the light pole belong to the city, said spokesman Bill Brennan. Crews from the city Department of Transportation Services were investigating the death, he said.

No further information was available. Police have classified the case as an unattended death.

Foul play is not suspected, police said.