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KCK utility addresses June electrocution death

Published on -7/18/2013, 9:08 AM

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities said work on scores of downed power lines prevented it from quickly responding to a call in June about downed line at a city park, where a man was electrocuted.

BPU spokesman David Mehlhaff issued a statement Wednesday explaining why it took more than 11 hours to respond to the downed power line at Rosedale Park after the June 15 storm. Nicholas Moeder, 27, of Shawnee was electrocuted on June 16 as he played disc golf in the dark with a friend.

"It is a tragedy and it is something that we wish that it didn't happen," Mehlhaff said. "We'll try to do what we can so that it never happens again."

Mehlhaff said the utility received 553 service calls June 15, including three that reported the downed wire in Rosedale Park. The utility says the storm left 2,277 customers without electrical service, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/12M7THc ).

"We had people working around-the-clock for 36 hours," Mehlhaff said.

BPU received the initial call about the downed line in the park from a 911 dispatcher just after 4 p.m. on June 15, but Mehlhaff said there was no way to know immediately the severity of the downed line.

"We get a lot people who will call 911 to report a downed line," he said. "You can second guess it, but what are you leaving behind, if you go to this? What happens to the next one?"

Crews responded to the downed line at Rosedale Park at 3:29 a.m. June 16.

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