Sunday, July 14, 2024

Two killed after track hoe hits power line

Two men died Monday morning when a track hoe hit a power line.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. at 530 Dogwood Lane in Wilmington, according to David Hines, spokesman for the Wilmington Fire Department.

The men had been unloading concrete vaults off a flatbed tractor trailer with the track hoe when the boom of the machine came into contact with a power line.

Emergency officials identified the electrocution victims as James Lemuel Williams, 55, of Richlands and Manuel Melendez Flores, 49, of Jacksonville. Another man was injured during the incident and is expected to make a full recovery.

All three men were employed by East Coast Contracting of Wilmington, which has been contracted by the city to construct drainage improvements in the Wisteria and Clearbrook areas as part of a $5.4 million, two-phase project to help alleviate flooding.

Upon arrival, firefighters found two men on the ground, deceased after being electrocuted.

Fire crews contacted Duke Energy for assistance and ensured another man, the operator of the track hoe, remained on the equipment until the line could be de-energized. That man was not injured in the incident.

Firefighters also worked to control the area in order to prevent any further injuries to workers within the project area off Oleander Drive near Jungle Rapids.

Hines said the incident affected power service in the area. More than 800 Duke Energy customers were still without power as of 11:15 a.m.

Crews remained in the area late Monday morning, with limited access to the affected roadways.

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