UPDATE, 12:45 p.m.: Arcata Fire Protection District press release:
At approximately 9:00 this morning, Arcata Fire District and Arcata-Mad River Ambulance were dispatched to 2593 New Navy Base Road for an industrial accident involving a possible electrocution. While responding to the scene, emergency personnel received further information indicating that there was a patient in the basket of a boom truck and he may have come in contact with a high-voltage power line.
Arcata Fire crews found the basket approximately 25 feet in the air with the patient unconscious in the basket. The boom was not in contact with the overhead electric transmission lines but was within inches of the lines. Firefighters immediately started coordinating with workers on scene to drain the hydraulic fluid of the boom to lower the basket and make access to the patient. After moving stacks of stock out of the way, they were able to lower the basket to the ground and paramedics determined that the man was dead.
Arcata Fire District is currently coordinating with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, OSHA, PG&E and the mill management on this investigation. The name of the victim is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.
Arcata Fire responded with two Chief Officers, one engine and one truck. Humboldt Bay Fire provided one Chief Officer and one engine to help cover the fire district. This tragic incident serves as a reminder to everyone to be careful whenever working around power lines. Remember to look up, down and all around when working near power lines and if you see downed power lines, never touch them.
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Original Post: A 55-year-old man was badly electrocuted while working at the Sierra Pacific Mill outside of Arcata this morning. Scanner traffic indicates that the man was trapped against powerlines while up in the basket of a “cherrypicker” truck.
The Times-Standard reports that the man has been pronounced dead.
Sgt. Sam Williams of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirms that detectives are investigating at the scene. The investigation was still in its very early stages, he said, and not much more information was immediately available. Listen to the call for assistance as it came over the scanner below.