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California job site accidents: Lineman killed in explosion

Four Southern California Edison workers were injured while working on an underground utility vault in Menifee. As in other job site accidents, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is conducting an investigation into the incident. That portion of the street under which the utility vault is positioned was blocked off during the onsite investigation.

Preliminary information indicates that a fire and electrical explosion led to one lineman being tangled in a live electrical line. Several of the lineman's coworkers were attempting to rescue him from the line when Riverside County deputies and paramedics arrived on the scene. Once the man was freed, the paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but it was too late. The lineman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Cal/OSHA spokesman reported that the lineman died from electrocution. The three other men involved in the incident sustained minor injuries and were treated at an area hospital. Deputies conducted their own investigation into the accident in order to be sure the explosion wasn't related to a copper theft in the area. Southern California Edison confirmed that this accident was not related to an area power outage and copper theft.

The lineman leaves behind two young children and a wife. Under California workers' compensation laws, family's that lose loved ones to job site accidents are entitled to receive some benefits. In order to ensure this family receives all of the benefits to which they are entitled, it might benefit them to sit down with someone that can help them navigate the system.

Source: Press-Enterprise, "MENIFEE: Coroner ID's Edison lineman killed in explosion," Sarah Burge and Peter Surowski, April 25, 2013

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