Two Men Shocked, Killed By Power Line

Kate Bramson Journal Staff Writer journalkate

CRANSTON, R.I. — A Providence man remained in critical condition and a Cranston man in serious condition at Rhode Island Hospital on Friday morning, after the two sustained injuries when an aluminum ladder they were using came into contact with an overhead power line, Cranston Police Chief Michael J. Winquist said.

Winquist identified the men as:

-Rosebin Brito, 28, of Providence, who was on the ladder and closest to the high-voltage line when he lost his balance and the ladder tipped backward and came into contact with the power line, which had 7,000 volts running through it; and

R-ichard Mercedes, 43, who lives at 93 Chestnut Hill Rd., Cranston, where the men were working on the roof.

The men had positioned the ladder so they could reach the roof above the second story, which was about 20 feet off the ground, Winquist said. However, the ladder wasn’t “well-footed,” or positioned securely, and it was unstable because it was essentially straight up and down instead of leaning at an angle on the house, Winquist said.

Brito received an electrical shock and other injuries associated with coming into contact with the high-voltage line, Winquist said. Because he was closer to the power line, his injuries were more severe. He also fell from the ladder and landed in the street, but Winquist said he does not know if he suffered additional injuries related to the fall.

As Mercedes held the ladder, he also sustained electrical shock because its aluminum material served as a conductor, and electricity traveled down the ladder, Winquist said.


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