On Thursday, December 5, 2019, shortly after 11:00 a.m., an electrical accident occurred at an Amtrak railyard, tragically killing an Amtrak employee and injuring two others. The incident occurred at the Con Edison Van Nest Substation in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. NYPD are assisting Amtrak police in an ongoing investigation into the incident.
A report by ABC7NY explains that the Amtrak employee was completing fuse work on a transformer at the substation when there was an explosion. The power to the transformer was alarmingly not turned off prior to the fuse work. The electrical explosion sadly killed the worker and injured two others; the severity of their injuries is currently unclear.
The FDNY received multiple calls reporting a loud explosion. A bystander described the incident to reporters by saying she “heard an explosion, saw a fireball and a cloud of smoke rising…”
Amtrak released a statement following the accident:
“We are deeply saddened to report the death of an Amtrak employee. The incident happened at approximately 11:05 a.m. at a substation just outside of New York City. There are reports of two additional nonlife-threatening employee injuries. Trains are being delayed through the area as local authorities respond. A full investigation is underway.”
Our hearts are with the loved ones of those injured in this tragic accident.
Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous when not done carefully. It is important that job sites follow safety and training regulations put forth to prevent electrical accidents including electric shock, explosions, and fires. If proper protocol is not followed, such as the error of neglecting to switch off the power to a transformer being worked on, then tragedies can occur.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers the following information on the ways in which electricity affects the body:
- 5 milliampere current – Slight shock
- 6 – 25 milliampere current – Painful shock, loss of muscular control
- 50 – 150 milliampere current – Extreme pain, respiratory arrest, possible death
- 1,000 – 4,300 milliampere current – Pumping of the heart ceases, nerve damage, likely death
- 10,000 milliampere current – Cardiac arrest, severe burns, probable death
While electrical accidents are less common than in the past, electricity remains a dangerous hazard on many job sites. The effects of a severe shock can be far worse than they appear. Possible injuries can include internal hemorrhages, destruction of tissues, nerves and muscles. If you have been shocked in a workplace accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a proven track record of helping workers injured in jobsite accidents and their loved ones retain compensation for their damages. We understand the dangers related to electrical work and are determined to help those injured due to another party’s negligence. Notable results include:
- $3,925,000 settlement for a mechanic who was severely injured when an LIRR train struck a tractor-trailer that was stuck on a railroad crossing, which he had been trying to help.
- $2,600,000 settlement for a Local 3 electrician who suffered serious injuries after he was shocked twice by power lines that should have been switched off while working in Manhattan.
- $1,500,000 settlement for an NJ Transit train passenger who sustained severe injuries to his neck, back, shoulders, and knee after the train crashed into a terminal.