2 men electrocuted in work accident


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two men are dead after a piece of heavy machinery they were using hit a powerline this morning in Wilmington.

Wilmington Fire Department spokesman Battalion Chief David Hines says it happened just before 8 a.m. at 530 Dogwood Lane. That’s off Oleander Drive.

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Hines says the men were helping unload concrete vaults off a flatbed truck when the arm of a track hoe hit a powerline. He says it energized the track hoe and then the wet ground where the men were standing electrocuting them.

When they arrived, firefighters called for Duke Energy and made sure the operator of the track hoe remained on the equipment until the line could be de-energized.

A City of Wilmington spokeswoman said the members involved in the accident were not city employees, but they were working with East Coast Contracting of Wilmington, which the city hired to construct drainage improvements in the Wisteria/Clearbrook area as part of a $5.4 million, two-phase project that will help alleviate flooding in the area.

Wilmington Police identified the victims as James Lemuel Williams, 55, of Richlands, and Manuel Melendez Flores, 49, of Jacksonville. Another man was injured during the incident and is expected to make a full recovery, WPD said.