Sunday, March 6, 2011

TTC Blames Improper Insulation In Electrical Incident, One Dog Dead

TORONTO - The Toronto Transit Commission is investigating an incident that has left a golden retriever dead, a black labrador retriever being treated by a vet, and sent a police officer and dog owner to hospital.

Police believe the electrical current came from a metal plate, situated beside a hydro pole, when the dogs walked over it just after 4 p.m. The wire was brushing the pole and it became electrified. The dogs just so happened to brush up against the pole.

The owner of one of the black lab was bitten on her hand when her dog was electrocuted. A commuter who was stepping off a streetcar at the time said it was a devastating scene.

"The woman there was asking for help, and her dog was seizing up, foaming at the mouth,"  she told CityNews. "Just anybody trying to go near it, it was biting at them, because it couldn't control it, and biting at its chain."

The woman is being treated in hospital. Her husband has already contacted a lawyer and told CityNews he plans to sue Toronto Hydro.

Aubrey was in the area at the time, and told 680News the owner of the black lab was frantic, while no one could figure out what happened until smoke started to rise from a metal plate below.

"They were waiting for the light (when) the dog kind of hit the ground and started yelping," he said. "It was really disturbing to hear. It sounded like it was in a severe amount of pain."

A female officer was also injured as she tried to intervene. She received a shock when she touched the metal collar that one of the dogs was wearing.

"We also have a police officer that has been taken to hospital," Constable Wendy Drummond told 680News. "She got on scene there to tend to the animals. One of the animals had a metal collar on, and she was electrocuted as well."

Her injuries are said to be minor.

Friday evening, Toronto Hydro issued a statement saying that their equipment was not involved in the incident, but instead, the incident was the result of a problem with overhead wires belonging to the TTC.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross told 680News what he believed happened. "The power wires that give power to our street cars are held up by stand wires. Between the power wires and the stand wires is insulation. There is points of insulation around the stand-wires and one of those insulator failed."

TTC and Toronto Hydro were on the scene late Friday night and are still investigating the scene.
*www.680news.com

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