Boy injured after touching downed power line while playing football

Doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital were last evening closely monitoring the condition of a 12-year-old boy who came into contact with a high voltage electrical wire while playing a game of football in the city.

Ronell Roberts

Ronell Roberts’s relatives told Stabroek News yesterday that the Freeburg Secondary School student was practising with his football team for an upcoming tournament shortly before 5 pm yesterday when his hands came into contact with the power line which had fallen close to the football field. The team, Santos United, usually plays football on the open field opposite the Square of the Revolution.

The  boy’s mother Sharon Roberts told Stabroek News that the fourth of her six children would normally play the ball game with his friends on the playfield each afternoon. According to her, she was at the family’s home at Lot ‘MM’ Bent  Street, Wortmanville  when she was informed that her son “get shock”.

The concerned mother said Ronell’s condition was serious, adding that he had been rushed to the hospital in an unconscious state.

She said he sustained burns to his hands, chest and face, and was panting for breath while crying out in pain after he regained his faculties.

His elder brother related that Ronell had run to retrieve the football close to a drain which runs along Brickdam when his hand came into contact with the exposed wire.

A security guard nearby told this newspaper that when she arrived at the scene, she saw several boys with sticks attempting to remove the wire from Ronell’s hands as he was lying in the drain with his hands clutched around the wire.

Another resident in the area told this newspaper that the wire had been hanging from the electrical pole for more than a week and several reports were made to the power company regarding it but no one went to fix same until after yesterday’s incident.

The boy’s grandmother was hoping for the best as several relatives and members of the football team gathered at the hospital.

His grandmother said that Ronell, who is a goalkeeper, has won several awards for his performances while playing the game and according to her, “prayers are the only answer to help save him”.

Ronell’s father was gunned down in the city during the 2002 crime wave, his relatives said and according to the boy’s mother, “I struggle daily to raise meh children” since the loss of her husband.
On Monday at Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara, a 15-year-old boy, Leondrew Davis, was electrocuted while holding onto a poultry farmer’s fence.

The boy was also playing football at the time and was attempting to retrieve the ball when he came into contact with the electrified fence.

The owner of the property, who was physically assaulted by irate villagers following the incident, was taken into police custody later that afternoon

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