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Big Apple a live wire

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A woman was recently electrocuted while walking her dog in East Village, New York. Civic Association president Bob Holden said he has complained to the utility, Con Edison, about exposed live wiring on neighbourhood streets for many years. In 2000, he reported dozens of locations where exposed wiring had been re-taped around the outside of street lighting columns and Holden once found young children using a cable attached to a lighting column as a swing. Before he could stop them, it shorted, blacking out the street.

When he complained about an exposed street junction box, Con Edison covered it with brown paper, which has since worn away.

Con Edison said that of the 100,000 street lighting columns inspected, 157 were found to have stray voltages. After testing more than half of its 250,000 manhole and service box covers, it found it had 110 hot spots.

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