Construction Worker Injured in Exposure to Underground Power Line Hazard on Wilke Rd Near Nichols Rd, Arlington Heights

Worker checked for burns and/or electric shock injury following exposure to an underground electric line during a work process involving a hydrovac truck.

Police and firefighter/paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 11:59 a.m. Wednesday July 15, 2020 to a report that a construction worker was possibly burned when hydrovac equipment contacted an underground power line.

The construction worker, who was described as conscious and breathing after the accident, was transported by Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedics to a local hospital. The condition of the worker was not initially available

ComEd reported that about 480 customers were without power after the accident.

Status
Crew Working

Probable Cause
Underground cable problem

Estimated Restoration
Jul 15, 2020, 2:00 PM

Earliest Report
Jul 15, 2020, 11:55 AM

ComEd responded immediately to de-energize the damaged line, and worked to isolate the area so that some customers could get their electric power restored. Customers as far away as Lexus of Arlington on Dundee Road and Wilke Road experienced a power outage for about 30 minutes.

A hydrovac truck and a horizontal boring machine were located on the scene. Utility locations were marked with flags and spray paint.

Hydrovac excavation is designated to be a non-destructive method of excavation that uses pressurized water and a powerful vacuum from a large truck to quickly and safely expose buried pipes and cables. The vacuum truck is a tanker truck with a heavy-duty vacuum connected. Using a pneumatic process, the vacuum can load solids, liquids, mud, sludge or slurry into the tank on the truck through suction lines that are usually about 6-8″ in diameter.




Vacuum trucks can also be used to expose underground utilities with the hope of eliminating the chance of damage to the utilities. The ground is jetted with a high-pressure water stream and the vacuum truck sucks up the water and mud, which exposes the buried utility while minimizing the chance of damage. The risk of damage is much less than the damage that might occur when a backhoe is used.

The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.

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