Teen Burned After Touching JEA Transformer | News

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Teen Burned After Touching JEA Transformer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A teenager has been taken to the burn center at Shands Gainesville while another was questioned by police after officers said the pair scaled the wall to a JEA substation in Riverside.

Initial reports from JFRD spokesman Tom Francis were that a person in critical condition was taken from the scene in the 1100 block of Myra Street Tuesday evening.

However, officers at the scene said the injured young man's injuries were non life-threatening.

JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce said her crews were notified just before 7 p.m. that someone had climbed the "very high wall" surrounding the substation and somehow touched the transformer.

That transformer, Boyce explained, gives off 69,000 volts of electricity.

"There is a reason that we secure our substations," Boyce said, while discussing the incident.

"I've heard of people being thrown through solid wood doors when they discharged a high-voltage capacitor before," said Kevin Ossenfort, an engineer with First Coast News.  

Safety procedures at the station dictate how he handles high voltage equipment carrying less than the substation in Riverside, but he said the effects of any shock can be deadly.

"You can be hit with a lot of voltage and that won't kill you, but it's the current that has the power," he said.

Police on Myra Street were treating the substation as a crime scene, and caution the public to take warnings about the area seriously.

"It's very dangerous. Stay away from them," said JSO Lt. Claude Eayoub.  "There's a reason why these stations are secure like they are."


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