Fatal industrial accident in West Philadelphia

June 3, 2008 3:36:28 PM PDT
A worker has been killed in an industrial accident in West Philadelphia. PECO says the incident occurred at 3:26 in the 800 block of Brooklyn this afternoon.

A private contractor was attempting to connect a new water line from a row house to the main line in the street when they apparently cut into an underground power line.

Witnesses say they heard a loud buzz, then what sounded like a small explosion. One worker was in the ditch when they apparently cut into a high-power electric transmission line.

He died instantly.

We're not revealing the name of the contractor he worked for until the victim's family is notified. We can tell you he's a man in his 50's from Germantown. His two coworkers, still badly shaken, left the scene with no comment.

Before digging contractors are supposed to check with the electric and water companies to identify the location of service lines.

Police have begun and investigation, but at this point say there doesn't appear to be any criminal neglect or carelessness.

The accident initially cut power to roughly 4000 customers. PECO has since restored power to all but 1,300 of its customers.