Officials investigating after kids shocked by live wire

February 18, 2013 3:59:26 PM PST
A five-year-old girl and her three-year-old brother are in the hospital, and likely have a long road to recovery ahead of them. They were severely burned in a power line accident in their backyard on Sunday, and a lot of questions for CenterPoint Energy remain.

There are several parallel investigations underway -- that of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, which responded to the call at the home on Sunday, as well the district attorney's office and Children's Protective Services -- which are routine whenever severe injuries are involved, even if accidental -- and then CenterPoint's own investigation.

The children were playing in the fenced yard at a home on on Nutwood near Roseville in northwest Harris County Sunday afternoon when, according to Precinct 4 constable investigators, a loose guide wire came into contact with a transformer wire on the top of the utility pole, which carries 20,000 volts of power.

The children are believed to have touched the lose guide wire. Their father found them unconscious on the ground, with their clothes on fire. He performed CPS on one of the children. They were both flown to Shriner's Burn Center in Galveston, where they remain in serious condition.

Cecil Davis, the children's great-uncle, said, "One of them, it blew the end of his finger off. The other one took a part of her toe off, but they're burnt bad."

The guide wire was reattached Sunday evening by CenterPoint crews. The company is investigating the incident.

The father, according to the constable's office, told the company's investigators the loose guide wire had been reported to CenterPoint some weeks ago but was not repaired.

"It was just a guide cable, you know what I mean? It wasn't a power line," Davis said. "But somehow (it came into contact with one.) I just looked at it and it shouldn't happen."

CenterPoint released a statement which reads in part: "After making the scene safe, we began conducting an investigation to determine what happened. Additionally, we are in the process of reviewing phone records to determine call history on the account. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the children who were injured in the incident, as well as their family members."
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