5 energy co. workers shocked at Houston building

Credit: KHOU

It happened at the Southwestern Bell building in the 1100 block of Capitol around 10 a.m.

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by KHOU.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 5:26 PM

HOUSTON — Five CenterPoint Energy workers were seriously injured Thursday after being shocked while working at a building in downtown Houston, according to the Houston Fire Department.

It happened at the Southwestern Bell building in the 1100 block of Capitol at San Jacinto around 10 a.m.

A crew was working on an outside electrical vault when it somehow caught on fire and shocked them.

“The vault is located just outside, although it is not connected, it has a strong protective barrier around it,” an HFD spokesperson said. “But the workers were inside when it flashed, that’s why they sustained the majority of the injuries.”

Officials said the workers were hit with 480 volts of electricity. Crews had to go down into the vault to rescue them.

Paramedics then transported the workers to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center with significant electrical burn injuries. One was in critical condition, two in serious and two in fair, according to the hospital.

Employees inside the building said they were sitting at their desks working when the power suddenly went out.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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