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Worker suffers electric shock in fire-alarm cable accident

A Boston Fire Department worker suffered an electric shock Friday when the fire alarm system cable he was working on came into contact with a 25,000-volt line that powered commuter rail trains, a department spokesman said.

The man was taken to Brig­ham and Women’s Hospital to be examined. His injuries were not life-threatening, said spokesman Steve MacDonald. A second worker suffered ringing in his ears from a loud boom emitted during the accident. Both men were later released from the hospital.

The accident occurred at 11:22 a.m. near the Canterbury Street overpass on a commuter rail line in Roslindale, near Hyde Park Avenue. The men were part of a crew running cables for the street fire alarm system, MacDonald said.


One of the men was in an aerial lift to cut the overhead cable while the other worker was on the ground to pull it in when it was cut, MacDonald said. The man on the ground received the shock, he said.

Macdonald said the cable, which was below the overpass, was supposed to fall to the street. “Instead, it fell to the backside of the overpass and came in contact with the 25,000-volt line that powered the commuter rail line,” said MacDonald.

He said the Fire Department will investigate the accident and review its procedures.

“It’s a good day when someone can come in contact with 25,000 volts of electricity and live to talk about it,” said MacDonald. He described the workers as longtime civilian employees in the fire alarm division.

Both NStar and Amtrak workers were assisting in the investigation, MacDonald said.