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Boy warded after getting electrical shock

By STACY MOORE Monday, August 18 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Naila Stephen stands next to her son's bedside yesterday at Southern Medical Centre, San Fernando after he was shocked by a TTEC line. ...
Naila Stephen stands next to her son's bedside yesterday at Southern Medical Centre, San Fernando after he was shocked by a TTEC line. ...

A 12-YEAR-OLD schoolboy was yesterday hospitalised after he was shocked by electricity in an incident in which a wire on a pole came into contact with the iron railings in the gallery of his home.

The incident happened in Rousillac Village, south Trinidad at about midday on Saturday. Nyme Andrews suffered minor burns to his toes and up to yesterday, was warded at the Southern Medical Centre, San Fernando. Nyme, who attends the La Brea Roman Catholic Primary School, suffered injuries to the toes on the left foot.

At the time of the incident, the schoolboy was attempting to hang a wet rug on the iron railings.

When his mother, Naila Stephen, rushed to her son’s assistance, she also was shocked by the electrical charge. The mother said perhaps it was the rubber rug which insulated her son from being electrocuted.

Relating the incident yesterday, Stephen, 35, told Newsday that it was at about 12.30 pm when family members were engaged in doing their household chores. Nyme attempted to hang a wet rug on the railings around the gallery.

Stephen said, “Suddenly, I heard someone say, ‘look Nyme catching fits’. I looked in his direction and saw him with his hands on the railing shaking as if he was catching fits. But I know my son is not an epileptic patient. I had no time to think. I just rushed to him and grabbed him and he was stiff. I had to pull his hands off the rug. When I held on too him I knew what was happening because I could feel the current flowing through my body.” His mother told Newsday she pulled her son away from the iron railings.

But even when she did so, she said, Nyme was still shaking. “He was vomiting and disoriented. He look like he was in a state of shock,” Stephen said.

But his mother said that she bared the pain of the electrical shock in her body when she grabbed her son, “because I was not thinking of myself, but my son.”

She said, “A lot of people told me that it could have been worse, and we both could have been electrocuted. But when it hits home, it’s only when you know. I could have lost my son, and I myself could have died due to negligence.”

Nyme was rushed to the medical centre by a crew from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (TTEC) who arrived on the scene. In a media release yesterday, TTEC stated that a piece of wire installed by the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) on a pole to safeguard its telephone wires, came into contact with one of TTEC’S low voltage lines.

Stephen said he observed that the wire which TTEC spoke about was knotted around the telephone wires, but it had become live with electricity as a result of it coming into contact with TTEC’s low voltage line.

That live piece of wire then came into contact with TTEC’s ground line buried in people’s yard to support the pole. There is one such ground line in Stephen’s yard that is mere inches away from the iron railings in the upper decking of Stephen’s home.

Stephen said a few months ago, there was a vehicular accident near to her home and the tyre from a truck struck the pole that is in front her house.

It is believed that the impact caused the pole to crack which caused TSTT’s wire to make contact with the TTEC low voltage line and the ground line.

Stephen said, “After my son was shocked, TTEC responded and said the pole belongs to TSTT. Now, if TTEC had responded initially and inspected the pole we would have known. This is just lack of communication between the two companies.” Both TTEC and TSTT officials are investigating.

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