Cyclist Electrocuted

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Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:00 am

Sorry if this has been posted already... A quick search didn't turn anything up...

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/art ... _news.html



Cyclist rides into powerline
Mandy Squires | January 28th, 2013

A CYCLIST is fighting for his life after riding into a live powerline on a track in Anglesea yesterday morning.

It is understood the powerline had fallen across a track in the Great Otway National Park, about 600m north of the Eumeralla Scout Camp.

The 38-year-old man was flown to Melbourne's Alfred hospital in a critical condition suffering from severe burns.

He was last night in a critical condition.

Anglesea police's Sergeant Kevin Warburton said the cyclist was found next to a path by the track about 8.40am, and was treated at the scene before being transferred to hospital.

The Geelong man had left to go mountain bike riding in the national park about 6am, Sgt Warburton said.

"What we now believe is that at some time overnight a cross-arm fire has caused a live wire to fall and it appears that the bike rider has come into contact with that active wire," Sgt Warburton said.

The wire was about 1m off the ground, he said.

"This has caused the rider to be electrocuted when he came into contact with it."

The accident was being investigated by authorities, including Energy Safe Victoria, Sgt Warburton said.

A spokesman for Victoria Police said it appeared the man had received a severe electric shock and suffered severe burns.

Powercor spokesman Drew Douglas said the utility company was working with police and emergency services to investigate the accident.

Powercor was notified of the accident about 9am yesterday, Mr Douglas said.

"Obviously, we are very concerned about the condition of the individual involved," he said.

A spokesman for The Alfred hospital said late yesterday afternoon that the rider was in a critical but stable condition.

Anglesea is well known for its network of mountain bike tracks, which are regularly used by cyclists.
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by BNA » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:34 am

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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby scotto » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:34 am

Sad, but on a lighter side..
“Honey, I think I need a full carbon bike and wheelset now"...

..... bugger me - mental blank - carbon is non conductive right !
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Re: Cyclist injured by live wire

Postby Graeme H » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:56 am

Can the misleading topic title be changed please?
It's Sgt Warburton's error, not Dr Mutley's.
Electrocuted means killed, which has thankfully not happened in this case.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby Wal42 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:36 am

scotto wrote:Sad, but on a lighter side..
“Honey, I think I need a full carbon bike and wheelset now"...

..... bugger me - mental blank - carbon is non conductive right !



Ah no, carbon is very conductive, go to your local fishing shop & have a look at a high end carbon rod, it'll have a warning sticker on it, it must do by Australian Standards.

The nature of cycling is that except for some rare custom bamboo & wood bicycles most of the stuff we ride is conductive.

That being said, tyres are air filled rubber (well silca actually) they are not conductive, so you have to wonder about what voltage was involved to bridge the gap between the rim & the ground (earth). Also, why wouldn't you see a rather large power cable hanging in front of you, a metre from the ground?

If this is genuine then I hope the cyclist involved recovers completely, but I'd personally file this one in the urban myth category.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:59 am

If he had of been surrounded by a closed conductor, he would never have been zapped. Mandatory car use for all.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:32 am

Wal42 wrote: That being said, tyres are air filled rubber (well silca actually) they are not conductive, so you have to wonder about what voltage was involved to bridge the gap between the rim & the ground (earth). Also, why wouldn't you see a rather large power cable hanging in front of you, a metre from the ground?

If this is genuine then I hope the cyclist involved recovers completely, but I'd personally file this one in the urban myth category.

Riding along (8.40am) in the bush. Dappled light and shade. Rides into a wire in the shade - maybe not a big thick cable - 1m above the ground and it contacts the frame. Rider stops being all tangled, puts foot on the ground...........

There are a lot of power facilities about there as Alcoa runs a big power station for their own needs using the local coal mine. But maybe it was just a domestic power supply as there is reference to "the utility company".
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby boumba » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:50 am

Wouldn't of taken much if the cable was around a corner. No time to brake, didn't see it in time, etc.

It was also a mains power line coming into the camping ground. 22,000V or something similar, minimal insulation.

I was actually camping in the same park the morning it happened. Extremely fast response to the incident.
Police on dirtbikes there within 15 minutes. Followed by a fire truck, 2 ambulances, 2 police fwd, and another paramedic vehicle.

He was eventually airlifted out, very impressive response.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:04 am

Puts the "urban myth" to bed

:wink:
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Re: Cyclist injured by live wire

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:51 am

Graeme H wrote:Electrocuted means killed...

You better check with your dictionary. Not being confused by "executed" were you?
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby TomBikes » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:22 am

@wal42
Carbon fiber is not very conductive. The formation of a atoms in carbon fiber prevent it from being highly conductive. The stickers on the rods are most likely for liability issues. If they advertised them as lightning proof and someone was shocked because maybe their rod was wet then they would have a huge case on their hands. Graphite on the other hand (also made of carbon) is highly conductive.
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Re: Cyclist injured by live wire

Postby Graeme H » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 am

sogood wrote:
Graeme H wrote:Electrocuted means killed...

You better check with your dictionary. Not being confused by "executed" were you?


Of course I checked my dictionary before posting that:
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What does yours say?
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Re: Cyclist injured by live wire

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:54 am

Graeme H wrote:What does yours say?

Code: Select all
electrocute |ɪˈlɛktrəkjuːt|
verb [ with obj. ]: injure or kill (someone) by electric shock: a man was electrocuted on the rail track.


So by my dictionary and understanding, the rider got injured. Otherwise, should we have described the rider as being "zapped" by a downed power line?
Last edited by sogood on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:54 am

Title should be "Cyclist shocked by live wire"

BTW, the original definition for electrocution was only in reference to electrical executions aka electric chair :o
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:04 am

A surprising lack of sympathy here for the rider concerned. Personally, I hope he makes a complete recovery (if that is possible) and my thoughts and best wishes go to him and his family.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby greyhoundtom » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:16 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:A surprising lack of sympathy here for the rider concerned. Personally, I hope he makes a complete recovery (if that is possible) and my thoughts and best wishes go to him and his family.

+1 :(
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby Summernight » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:31 pm

I thought the electricity companies had some fandangled special super power (no pun intended) that automatically turned off wires if they came into contact with the ground or shorted etc.? Isn't that part of the whole stopping bushfires thing???

Poor guy - I hope he recovers from his zapping. What a horrible thing to happen.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby birdbrain » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:58 pm

Hopefully he makes a full recovery. Powercor will no doubt be liable for his ongoing support.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby Hamster » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:14 pm

Summernight wrote:I thought the electricity companies had some fandangled special super power (no pun intended) that automatically turned off wires if they came into contact with the ground or shorted etc.? Isn't that part of the whole stopping bushfires thing???

Poor guy - I hope he recovers from his zapping. What a horrible thing to happen.



It sounds like the conductor in question was merely low-hanging. The protection wouldn't kick-in until it touched the ground or something connected to the ground (eg a tree).

I hope the cyclist makes a quick and full recovery.
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Re: Cyclist injured by live wire

Postby maestro » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:25 pm

Some more info here http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/electric-shock-in-great-otway-national-park-leaves-geelong-cyclist-in-critical-condition/story-e6frf7kx-1226563045397

A fire on the cross arm caused one wire to fall down to hang around 1 metre from the ground.

The article says he is critical but stable. At least the "stable" part is good news. These things can take quite a bit to recover from, especially if high voltage was involved (HV is more likely to start a fire on the cross arm, plus most cables that are not running alongside a road would be HV, so it is likely in this instance)

As far as the word "electrocute"... I am an electrical engineer in heavy industry and so consequently I receive numerous reports on electrical incidents written by government inspectors around the world (often there is some specific learning, but sometimes they seem to be used in a similar way to those "shock" road trauma ads). These official reports seem to universally use the term "electrocuted" (with no further explanation) to mean a fatality, and use the term "electric shock" for non fatal incidents and this is well understood within the industry.

sogood wrote:
Code: Select all
electrocute |ɪˈlɛktrəkjuːt|
verb [ with obj. ]: injure or kill (someone) by electric shock: a man was electrocuted on the rail track.



May I ask which dictionary you got that from? If it were mine, I would be contacting the publishers requesting a correction. I have checked multiple dictionaries and they all insist that electrocution is fatal.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby wombatK » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:17 pm

Summernight wrote:I thought the electricity companies had some fandangled special super power (no pun intended) that automatically turned off wires if they came into contact with the ground or shorted etc.? Isn't that part of the whole stopping bushfires thing???

The highest voltage transmission lines, and some of the more recently equipped distribution lines can have high speed protections that disconnect the power in around 100 milliseconds. Older lines and long rural transmission lines often
can take seconds or more; worse it can be difficult for the protection to discriminate between high load levels and
a fatal shock current - so it might not even trip the line. The latter possibility is why you are advised never to
touch a power line lying on the ground, nor attempt to rescue a person who's in contact with a fallen line unless
you have appropriate insulating tools (e.g. long wooden broom handle).

In the best case, it comes down to whether the 100 milliseconds fault duration includes the heart's critical
repolarization phase - IIRC its about 1/3 the heartbeat. At 90 bpm, each heartbeat is 660 milliseconds long,
so there is a big window (2/3 the heartbeat) where you can be lucky enough to survive. But if the line has a slower protection, the outcome will be grim.

Cheers
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby sogood » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:57 am

maestro wrote:May I ask which dictionary you got that from?

An online dictionary. But you are right, a great majority of reference dictionaries out there have defined it solely in association with death, not injury. Could it be a term that's transitioning?
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby Summernight » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:21 am

wombatK wrote:
Summernight wrote:I thought the electricity companies had some fandangled special super power (no pun intended) that automatically turned off wires if they came into contact with the ground or shorted etc.? Isn't that part of the whole stopping bushfires thing???

The highest voltage transmission lines, and some of the more recently equipped distribution lines can have high speed protections that disconnect the power in around 100 milliseconds. Older lines and long rural transmission lines often
can take seconds or more; worse it can be difficult for the protection to discriminate between high load levels and
a fatal shock current - so it might not even trip the line. The latter possibility is why you are advised never to
touch a power line lying on the ground, nor attempt to rescue a person who's in contact with a fallen line unless
you have appropriate insulating tools (e.g. long wooden broom handle).

In the best case, it comes down to whether the 100 milliseconds fault duration includes the heart's critical
repolarization phase - IIRC its about 1/3 the heartbeat. At 90 bpm, each heartbeat is 660 milliseconds long,
so there is a big window (2/3 the heartbeat) where you can be lucky enough to survive. But if the line has a slower protection, the outcome will be grim.

Cheers


Thanks for the knowledge. Handy to know. :D

So the wire hadn't previously been tripped and possibly it did have the trip protection and that is why the cyclist who hit it survived.
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Re: Cyclist Electrocuted

Postby maestro » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:17 pm

Summernight wrote:So the wire hadn't previously been tripped and possibly it did have the trip protection and that is why the cyclist who hit it survived.

The wire was hanging 1 metre from the ground (probably hanging between the poles either side of the one where the cross-arm fire was) and without touching the ground would not have tripped until a human completed the circuit to the ground.

Although, even when wires do touch the ground it is not guaranteed to trip (and this has caused numerous fatalities worldwide)
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