1 Dead, 1 Serious After Light Hits Power Lines

Incident happened during repair to water main break

By Jim Iovino and Tracee Wilkins
|  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 8:27 PM EDT
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Arlington County Worker Electrocuted

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Arlington County Worker Electrocuted

One man is killed, another critically injured, when their metal ladder comes into contact with live power lines.
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One Arlington County employee was electrocuted and another was shocked Wednesday morning when a light pole hit live power lines.

Just before 9 a.m., rescue crews were called to the scene where repairs are being made to a water main break at Old Glebe Road near Dittmar and North Glebe roads. 

Officials said it appears a light pole attached to a generator came into contact with overhead power lines, sending electrical current into a hole below where workers were trying to fix the water main.

Dominion Power cut power to the line to enable rescue efforts. Once power was cut, rescuers were able to get to the victims.  One of the victims apparently died at the scene.  The other was transported to a local hospital.

The county identified the decedent as 59-year-old James Bea, a 24-year county employee. The other worker, who was not named, suffered serious electrical burns.

The power outage affected about 1,000 households in the immediate area. Power has since been restored.

Repairs to the water main continued after new cracks opened. The county asked residents to conserve water until the main is repaired. Water from Falls Church is being imported to replenish the supply. 

The county is working with the state's workplace safety agency to investigate the accident.

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