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Wwp Worker Electrocuted

Fri., Nov. 22, 1996

A Washington Water Power Co. employee was electrocuted Thursday night while responding to a gas leak in a Spokane Valley neighborhood.

The 32-year-old man came into contact with a power line downed by Tuesday’s ice storm, witnesses said.

A WWP co-worker and sheriff’s deputy Mike Drapeau tried to revive the gas serviceman before he was rushed by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center.

He died a short time later, utility spokesman Rob Strenge said.

WWP did not release the man’s name pending notification of his family.

About 8 p.m., a WWP crew was dispatched to the 7600 block of East Nora, where the gas leak was reported.

“We smelled gas this afternoon,” said Dick Renford, who lives next door to the house with the suspected leak. “My wife called and reported it to Water Power.”

The two-man crew was in the area for 30 minutes to an hour before the victim was shocked by a power line “lying limp against a utility pole,” Renford said.

There were two hazard cones marking the downed line, according to Renford.

Renford and his wife were inside their home when the accident occurred. “We just saw some flashes, like we did two days ago when the line went down,” he said.

The neighborhood, sandwiched between Interstate 90 and Trent, has been without power since 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Strenge said the electrocuted worker had been with WWP since July 1990.

, DataTimes

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