East Bay News
Two window washers electrocuted by PG&E line
ORINDA, CA (KGO) -- Two men suffered burns over more than 95 percent of their body Saturday following a freak workplace accident in the East Bay.
The men were both electrocuted while washing windows in Orinda. They were in a cherry picker about 30 feet in the air when they hit some high-voltage wires. Several people at a nearby farmer's market say they saw an explosion and watched helplessly as the men and the bucket they were in burned.
The men were unconscious, so people started yelling in an attempt to rouse them.
"Finally, the one gentleman did wake up, and in his state of shock, was able to take his pants off and put the other gentleman, the fire on him, out," witness Janice Faust told ABC7. "But, the cage was still burning. It seemed like forever before help came, and then of course they weren't able to go up because I guess the wires were live. We weren't thinking of that we were just watching the suffering."
Some witnesses were very critical of how long it took firefighters to do something, but firefighters say they could not reach out to the men until PG&E arrived and confirmed the power was out. Otherwise, firefighters could have died while trying to make the rescue.
PG&E arrived 20 minutes after the call came in. Some wondered why fire fighters did not even hose down the victims, but officials point out that water is a conductor of electricity.
The men were taken by helicopter to a hospital and were in critical condition Saturday evening.
orinda, PG&E, east bay news, amy hollyfield
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