Police say copper wire theft attempt leads to electrocution

May 6, 2008 7:02:22 AM PDT
Police say a man found dead on an abandoned Lancaster County rail line apparently was electrocuted while trying to cut down copper high-voltage wires.

The man was found Monday on the abandoned Norfolk Southern Enola Low-Grade Line in Eden Township. State Police say he apparently climbed a tower and tried to cut down copper wires, not realizing they were carrying electricity.

Such thefts have increased as the price of scrap copper has quadrupled in recent years. And even though trains haven't run on the line for years, its catenary lines still help power trains on part of Amtrak's East Coast corridor.

Coroner Stephen Diamantoni says an autopsy is planned Tuesday. He says it appears the man was electrocuted and the death was accidental. Police are still trying to identify the man.