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City Electrician Still Piecing Puzzle Together

KSAL Staff - June 3, 2013 2:06 pm

Two junction boxes located near Campbell Plaza on Santa Fe Ave.

Two junction boxes located near Campbell Plaza on Santa Fe Ave.

City crews continue to look for what caused a junction box to become electrified, shocking an 11-year-old Salina girl last Wednesday in Downtown Salina.

City Manager Jason Gage joined in on the KSAL Morning News Monday with an update on the plan to check all eight junction boxes, that are placed along Santa Fe Avenue from Ash to Mulberry. “It’s a very serious situation so we are looking very,very closely at it,” he said.

Last Wednesday during a rainstorm, Jayden Hicks and a group of friends were playing in the puddles near Campbell Plaza when she was shocked and later transported to the hospital. The 11-year-old remains in critical condition at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita.

“We certainly feel for the family,” Gage said. “It’s hard to internalize the impact of this and what it means, and so that’s why we are going to do everything we can to look at the system.”

Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams tells KSAL News that the wiring runs north and south, providing lighting to the lampposts on the east and west sides of the walks. Power has been shut off to the covered walkways and plazas as city electricians work to isolate any problems in the chain.

Plans call for power to be restored to those downtown elements – after the city electrician okays each piece in the puzzle.

It is still not known if the age of the system played a role in the incident, Gage says the downtown lighting system was installed in the mid-80′s.

“It’s been there a long time and we’ve never had any type of electrical issues like that before,” he said.

“We really have not nailed down the exact cause and that’s really important to know that. We don’t know yet but we are looking at it very, very closely.”

City of Salina