Thursday, February 22, 2018

Boy, 12, hospitalised after electric shock


Recovering: Naila Stephen at her son’s bedside at the Southern Medical Clinic, San Fernando yesterday. Nyme Andrews, 12, suffered an electric shock at his Rousillac home on Saturday. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

Mark Fraser

A 12-year-old boy suffered an electric shock as he attempted to hang a rug over a metal railing at his home on Saturday. Nyme Andrews sustained minor injuries and was in stable condition at Southern Medical Clinic, San Fernando yesterday. His mother, Naila Stephen, was also shocked as she rushed to her son’s assistance.

The incident occurred at the family’s Southern Main Road, Rousillac home around 12.30 p.m.

Stephen, a mother of three, said, “It was our usual Saturday morning chores around the house. I was doing the laundry while my son washed the rug and was about to hang it out. The railing is on a decking at our home. He came into contact with the railing and was ‘electrocuted’ (sic).” Stephen, who spoke to the media at the medical clinic, said she grabbed her son and pulled him away from the railing. “I thought he was having a seizure because he was vomiting and his body was shaking. His eyes were bulging.

I grabbed him and then realised it was being ‘electrocuted’ (sic). I was shocked too. A man who was nearby ran to help but he pulled away when he got shocked,” she said. Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) technicians arrived within 20 minutes, she said. Stephen, 35, explained, “There was an incident about three months ago when a truck tyre flew off the truck and hit a TSTT pole. The pole cracked and was leaning. The TSTT cable was in contact with the T&TEC tension wires causing the cable to be electrified. That cable was touching our railing because of the leaning pole.”

Stephen said a report was made to T&TEC three months ago. “At that time we did not know it was a TSTT pole. We called T&TEC and reported the leaning pole. We didn’t get a response and I didn’t follow it up,” she said. Stephen said she was pleased with T&TEC’s response since her son’s incident. “I was taking my son to the hospital and they told me to bring him here. They have been good to us, dealing with the situation. But I have not yet been contacted by TSTT,” she said.

Stephen said she was acting on impulse when she grabbed her son as he was being shocked. “People are saying I should not have touched him but he is my son and I cannot see him dying and don’t rush to help him,” she said. The Standard Five pupil of La Brea RC Primary School underwent a series of tests yesterday. Stephen said doctors were trying to determine whether any of the child’s organs were affected.

T&TEC stated that preliminary investigations suggest that on contact TSTT’s “guy wire” touched T&TEC’s low voltage overhead line and became energised, shocking the boy. The incident is being investigated by T&TEC and TSTT.