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child dies crawling under transformer station fence .... please help


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I'm looking for an article or for some more information about a child who died in the early nineties (maybe 1993-94) crawling underneath a transformer station fence to retrieve his soccer ball. If I remember correctly this happened near a school in southern / south-western Ontario (maybe Hamilton or London) but can't for the life of me find any related news articles, either through Google or archive searches at the Star, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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search a scholars portal, a database listing all the archived articles by topic, date etc.. I use Proquest on the u of t reference site.. if you are not a student perhaps try the public library.

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hey i remember that little robot fag. he used to remind me that while he could put his arm back on, i could not.


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When I read the title of this thread which states that help was needed, I couldn't help but think to myself "Isn't it a bit late?"


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I work in media relations and these are the only two articles I can find in my database.


13-year-old electrocuted by hydro line
Windsor Star
Monday, July 20, 1992
Page: A3
Section: Metro
Byline: By Chuck Sinkevitch Special to The Star
Dateline: BLENHEIM

BLENHEIM - In a child's mind it probably made sense.
But on Saturday afternoon when 13-year-old Daniel Harkness of Blenheim tried to retrieve a toy caught in hydro wires with an aluminum pool skimmer, his impulse proved fatally tragic.
"You try to go into the schools and educate them, but sometimes the message doesn't get through or the kids think that if they use another object to touch the wires, they won't get hurt," said Mario Charland, a shift operator at the Ontario Hydro Keith transformer station in Windsor.
Bob Harkness said his son was playing with a toy parachute - the kind you throw in the air and retrieve - when it got hung up in the hydro wires in the front yard of their Blenheim-area home. Harkness wasn't home at the time, but two of his son's friends were there when the accident happened.
"THEY TOLD him not to do it, but he's kind of headstrong and he did it anyway," said the elder Harknness. "They said he didn't even touch the wire, but there was a flash. It must have arced. He had bare feet and he was standing in wet grass."
The jolt of electricity knocked him to the ground. Officers from the OPP's Ridgetown detachment said ambulance attendants performed CPR at the scene, but to no avail. The Harkness boy was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chatham.
Blenheim is about 20 kms southeast of Chatham.
"Every parent tries to teach their kids. I can't understand why he'd do a thing like that. You try and tell them, but kids will be kids. What can you do?" his father said.
It was a 4,800-volt distribution line leading to a transformer that caused the electrocution. The wire, hung 61/2 metres above ground, was not protected by an insulated cover, but Charland said that isn't unusual considering that high-voltage distribution lines above a 600-volt capacity aren't insulated. He warned that even the standard 240-volt line leading from a pole-top transformer to a house carries enough power to cause death.
"It really doesn't matter what kind of line it is, there is never a good time to come in contact with any live wire and it is always safe to assume any wire is live," Charland said. "The best bet is to call us. We can come out and isolate the lines and, in most cases, we'll do the work for you."

Idnumber: 199207200016
Edition: Final
Story Type: NEWS
Length: 406 words


Gatineau boy electrocuted by hydro transformer: Five-year-old crawled through hole in fence
The Ottawa Citizen
Sunday, June 9, 1996
Page: A1 / FRONT
Section: News
Byline: Julia Elliott and Karen Brown
Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday evening, a neighbor intertwined yellow daisies in the chain-link fence that is supposed to keep people out of the Hydro-Quebec transformer compound beside Belisle Park in Gatineau.
On Saturday morning, the fence couldn't keep out Sebastien Paquette.
The five-year-old boy died at about 4:30 p.m. at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario after he was hit with a 25,000-volt shock.
Daisies were Sebastien's favorite flowers.
Gatineau police were called to the transformer compound near Belisle Park on Saturday at about 11:15 a.m., said Sgt. Wayne Giroux.
It appears the boy had crawled through a hole under the fence to enter the compound.
Once inside, Sebastien began climbing a transformer tower and was electrocuted after he had climbed about two metres, said Giroux.
Sebastien was taken to the hospital, where he died about five hours later of severe burns.
Giroux said the gap under the fence was large enough for anyone to crawl under, child or adult.
``We don't know if anybody played with it (the fence) or if it was built that way. We don't know what made him go inside.''
Sebastien's father, Guy Paquette, said it was the first time his son had gone to play in Belisle Park, at the foot of North Ouest Street, near Main Street and Maloney Boulevard.
He said he has no idea why the boy went to the park, because Sebastien had always played in a park near his home on Elm Street.
Sebastien, who was with a friend, was electrocuted after he propped his red bike against a pole in the park and crawled under a fence.
Neighbors and relatives who gathered Saturday afternoon at the compound were dumbfounded that a 30-centimetre hole in front of the gate which let the youngster into the compound had been filled in with gravel after the accident.
``Hydro filled it in,'' said Sebastien's uncle, Jean Ibrahim, who lives in the neighborhood. ``How can they have a park so close (to the transformers)?'' he asked.
``They should take that (transformer compound) out and put it somewhere else because it's not protected well,'' said Ibrahim. ``They should put real high fences like the prisons and asphalt so no kids can go underneath.''
Neighbors noticed new gravel and danger signs on the fence at the site Saturday evening, but there was still a gap of about 15 centimetres between the two fence gates.
Hydro-Quebec spokesman Real Gagnon said the gap was filled in with gravel following Saturday morning's accident on the advice of police to ``secure the site.'' He said existing gravel had probably been washed away by spring rains.
Gagnon said danger signs were fastened to the compound fence. But, he added, signs are often stolen or vandalized by area youths.
Late Saturday, police could not confirm they had advised Hydro-Quebec to fill in the gap. However, neighbors said additional signs were added Saturday afternoon, following the accident.
Gagnon said, in addition to fences and signs, Hydro-Quebec has other measures in place to prevent such accidents. When asked to elaborate, Gagnon would say only that employees and security personnel conduct regular ``checks'' of compounds.
``We have a fence and gates and indications there is danger. It's not a playground. It's a danger and it's important to respect it,'' said Gagnon.
``I'm angry because this should never have happened to a five-year-old,'' said Sebastien's aunt, Johanne Paquette. ``The land site was filled in after they found Sebastien.''
Sebastien's parents, Guy Paquette and Linda Fortier, who have two other children, Mathieu, 10 and Annie, 3, walked up to the hydro fence Saturday evening. They had little to say.
Helene Paquette, who was also at the site, described her nephew Sebastien, who was affectionately called Tin Tin, as ``extremely shy. He wouldn't talk to anyone.''
``He likes to play in parks,'' said Ibrahim. ``There's a park here and he can play. I don't know what happened. I don't know why he came here.''
Sebastien's death is the third electrocution in the area in the past four years.
A 15-year-old youth received a fatal shock in May when he broke into an Ontario Hydro compound in Goulbourn Township. Police believe John Gooderham crawled under the compound's fence and climbed on top of a transformer inside.
In 1992, a 13-year-old Buckingham boy was electrocuted while playing at the town garage, adjacent to an electrical compound. Jason Denault, who survived the accident, received severe burns to 40 per cent of his body when he touched a 25,000-volt transformer after burrowing underneath a fence to retrieve a cap his friend had thrown inside.

• Color Photo: Sebastien Paquette

Idnumber: 199606090004
Edition: Final
Story Type: NEWS
Length: 759 words
Illustration Type: Colour Photo

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The second article is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!!!

dillpickle said:
I work in media relations and these are the only two articles I can find in my database.


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hey dillpickle....

by any chance do you have more information on this part:

"A 15-year-old youth received a fatal shock in May when he broke into an Ontario Hydro compound in Goulbourn Township. Police believe John Gooderham crawled under the compound's fence and climbed on top of a transformer inside."
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synchronizator said:
i love how his kid dies and he says, "what can you do?"

You love to hear a dad lamenting the loss of his son through a vain attempt to rationalize his tragic death?