electrocuted

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Not at home, but tonight in Baltimore, a girl was tying her shoe and had her foot on the 12 or 15 foot fence behind home plate of a softball field, and she was electrocuted (to death). On tv, one could see an electric wire that must have run above the fence, lying on the fence.
I don't know if the wire ran above the fence when the wire wasn't sagging, but I wouldn't be surprised.
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mm wrote:

Uhh. Electrocute means killed; don't need to add it. Kind of like saying killed dead. Strange how people don't know that some words mean the person died, e.g.,"drown," "smothered," etc.
More strange and to the point is how a live wire on a metal fence (chain link) that is grounded through the fence and the supports in the ground, sends electricity through the person touching the fence. You would think the electricity would travel the path of least resistance. But, certainly lightening travels in strange ways.
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On Sat, 06 May 2006 04:39:35 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

Yes, it was chain link, and fwiw taller and wider than such things were when I was little.

Absolutely. I didn't even think of that this time, but I even asked about this here once, about why would, as in Goldfinger, a heater thrown in a tub electrocute someone when the quickest path to the ground seemed to be through the water to the drain. Or if the drain wasn't a ground, what would be?
Surely the fence poles in the ground made a better ground than the rubber sole of her sneakers. Or even a leather sole. It hasn't even rained for days.

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Because .0001ohms resistance of the fence alone is still MORE resitance than the same .0001ohms + the 1meg ohms provided by a sneaker.
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Aren't you agreeing with me?
By the lack of rain, I meant that the victim wasn't standing on mud or in wet grass, whereas maybe the posts go down to wet soil. (although I hadn't considered the fence poles being mounted in cement.)
I'm saying the current should have gone thRough the fence.
Missed the first 10 or 20 seconds of the story at 6:30, but it seems there is a light pole erected about a year ago, and someone today had painted a red line from it to the backstop.
So at this point, it seems the cable resting on the backstop had nothing to do with it, and people just jumped to that conclusion. Kudos to whoever suggested this.
I looked at the URL someone posted, but by the time I got there, there was no picture, and the news this evening showed pictures the ground and the base of that light pole.
This still doesn't say why the backstop wasn't grounded sufficiently and would go through her.
I'll try to find the story at 11PM.
And I'll try to look in the paper, but I really don't like the Sunday paper anymore. So much bulk I have to get rid of.
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mm wrote:

The current will go through the fence and to ground via multiple paths. It doesn't all have to go one way. The poles in the earth have some finite and significant resistance. As does the path through the girl and to ground. You could have 20 amps going to ground through the fence poles, 50ma going through the girl, and it could be fatal.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

As mentioned previously, Current does indeed seek out shortest patch, but that does not mean that would only take that path. Someone else mentioned parallel circuits, that hold true.
Other conditions could have been post in cement creating more of an insulation barrier, group around posts was dry not providing sufficient grounding to sink most of the current, etc.
And since do not have enough facts about the incident, only guessing.
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MC wrote:

It is very unlikely that encasing metal fence post in concrete would increase there impedance. Work done by MR. Ufer during world war two showed that concrete encased electrodes have a lower impedance to earth than the same electrode buried directly. The obvious caveat is that the concrete must not be poured into holes lined with plastic or any other non conductive material. -- Tom of the sparks and arcs
"This alternating current thing is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison
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On 7 May 2006 07:53:48 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

OK, you've convinced me. :)
I didn't expect more info before today, because of the weekend, but even today Monday tthere is no statement as to what the cause was.
There is apparently an underground cable that passes by the backstop, that may have gone in a year ago, but I'm sure they didn't dig right up to the posts to lay it.
They haven't said anything about measuring the voltage on the fence. Theyve had plenty of time to reconnect what ever they had disconnected, and check what makes the fence hot. But no word, at least on tv, and frankly, the paper only sometimes says more than the tv does.
Also, why her? Why then? I'm sure may other people had touched the fence. She may have had both hands and her foot on it, although that doesn't seem likely to me (who never does stretching.)
I'll try to follow the story to the end, and keep you informed. Don't know when that will be.
But if they can't get their act together, it shows how careful we all should be.

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Actually, I'm pretty sure that the best path to ground is back through the toaster, unless whoever threw it cut the nuetral (and ground, if any) first.
Mind you, I don't plan to TEST this theory.
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Can you reference this? Hard to imagine why the electricity would have followed a path through her shoe and body to ground, rather than just through the fence and fence posts. but perhaps there was a reason.
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Toller wrote:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.briefs06may06,0,2205255.story?coll l-local-headlines
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.briefs06may06,0,2205255.story?coll l-local-headlines
They all sat around praying for her. No one ever heard of CPR?
Bob
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BGE, (Baltimore Gas and Electric) has said their equipment was NOT involved. So at this point no one knows exactly why this child died. Yes you can see line hangin down near the fence. But to me those lines look like they are maybe the tension line that holds the cables taught between poles. But at this point BGE is saying "NOT THEIR EQUIPMENT"
Searcher
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Google the concept of "parallel circuit" for an explanation.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.briefs06may06,0,2205255.story?coll l-local-headlines
Disclaimer: I don't know anything more about this story than what I've read in this NG and the referenced URL.
Consider another possibility. The article was somewhat confusing. First it said she leaned against the fence, then it said she put her foot against the fence. Maybe they got cause and effect reversed. She might have been breathing erratically because of a medical problem and leaned up against the fence because she was starting to get dizzy. To the witnesses, it would have appeared that everything was normal until she leaned against the fence and then suddenly dropped to the ground.
It's also possible that the fence posts might have been routed in concrete and that her body provided the best path to ground, but if she was wearing sneakers and simply put her foot against the fence, the sneakers should have provided sufficient insulation. She still would have needed an alternate path to the fence and to the ground. I think that if the fence really were live, someone (police, fire, other) would have found a way to determine whether the fence was charged.
I think that a key piece of information is missing from this article.
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Nick Danger wrote:

Maybe several key pieces. Newspaper stories are often not very reliable and often misleading. You have to remember most newspaper and TV reporters know very little about anything related to electricity, biology, medicine, or any science. I use to collect silly statements published in newspapers. One article, don't remember the subject, was memorable in mentioning a "single celled insect."
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I think that is the understatement of the year.

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On Sat, 06 May 2006 20:04:07 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

Don't they have to have at least 6 cells, one for each leg?
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mm wrote:

Yep, sounds about right. Just like trees, one cell for each branch, right?
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