An alleged thief who was electrocuted while attempting to steal cables at the Wychwood substation in Germiston on Thursday is “lucky to be alive”, an Ekurhuleni councillor says.
Kade Guerreiro, who is a councillor for Ward 36 in the region, was at the scene following an explosion at the substation around midday.
Speaking to News24 on Friday, Guerreiro said he was alerted by residents about the explosion which resulted in power cuts in the area.
When he reached the substation, he added, the suspect had tried to flee the scene but was unable to do so because of the severity of his injuries. Guerreiro said the man was not alone and his accomplice had fled the scene.
“He wasn’t alone. He worked with somebody else and they were trying to cut the copper cables at the substation. He had obviously done something and cut something that was wrong…” he said.
The damage to the substation has been estimated to cost millions of rand.
Guerreiro said the incident left about seven sections of the community without electricity, adding technicians from the City of Ekurhuleni had worked tirelessly and restored power by midnight.
“The scary thing is that the amount of power that was needed to give the community energy [was affected]. The amount of power [from] the substation was so strong that it melted his shoes.”
The man was taken to hospital and placed in the intensive care unit for burns to his body.
Guerreiro said the incident had shaken residents.
“We have never had something like this happen where we have been able to physically see the perpetrator. He was horrendously burned.”