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Copper thief electrocuted

Copper thief electrocuted

Niël Terblanché

A YOUNG man, who was admitted to the hospital in Swakopmund with severe burn wounds associated with electrocution, is currently the main suspect in an attempt theft of copper wire from a live electrical substation on the outskirts of the coastal town.


According to the incident report provided by the Namibian Police in the Erongo Region, the search for the copper thief started the day after Erongo RED reported that a bases station near the NamWater premises tripped late on Monday evening.


“The base station tripped at around 22:30 on Monday evening. Technicians were mandated by Erongo RED’s area manger to find the problem with the local supply network on Tuesday morning and their search led them to the base station behind NamWater,” the report states.


According to the report, the technical team found the tripped substation at around 14:21 on Tuesday.


hospital Swakopmund burn wounds electrocution suspect
BRUSH WITH DEATH: The scene of an incident where a suspect in a copper theft case suffered severe burn wounds while cutting live electrical wires. – Photo: Courtesy of the Namibian Police in the Erongo Region.


The cables to and from the transformer that are elevated on poles, were cut.


The technicians also found dried blood and a pair of pliers on the scene, which led to the search for an injured cable thief.


A team of investigators visited the Swakopmund State Hospital and found a 20-year-old man who was brought in earlier with severe burn injuries associated with electrocution.


“At this stage, evidence found on the scene points out the young man as the person that was electrocuted by the live electrical cables he was busy cutting on the poles of the base station,” the reporter noted.


According to the report, the young man is still admitted at the Swakopmund State Hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.


In the meantime, Erongo RED registered a case of theft and malicious damage to property with the Namibian Police.


The damage caused by the suspect to the vital supply infrastructure is estimated to be well in excess of N$80 000.


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