Sarawak Energy to probe why power lines fell across Tatau road

KUCHING, Oct 3 — State-owned power supplier Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) has launched a thorough investigation into why power lines fell across a road in Tatau, Bintulu Division, last Tuesday morning.

A school bus, driven by a woman, crashed into the fallen “live” lines which resulted in her suffering serious burns while her 11-year-old son suffered minor injuries.

According to Tatau police chief DSP Dennis Bunyan, four other pupils in the bus escaped without injuries.

The 55-year-old woman was sending the children to school when the accident happened at about 6.45am on October 1 at the junction of Taman Lee Cheng in Tatau.

In a statement, SEB expressed regret over the unfortunate incident at the Pan Borneo Highway work site, saying that an investigation team led by Electrical Inspectorate Unit of the state Ministry of Utilities, together with SEB personnel, is currently investigating all possible causes. 

“Initial investigations show that the earthing cables were cut, believed to be stolen by thieves, that resulted in the power lines to fall,” it said.

SEB said the incident also led to the loss of electrical supply to the whole of Tatau town, including Tatau Clinic from 7am, on October 1.

The supply to the town was restored at 9am and to the clinic at 1pm. 

SEB advised the public to stay at least five metres away from any fallen lines and to always assume that every fallen power line is "live" and to alert SEB personnel immediately for assistance at 1300 88 3111.

“A fallen line creates a voltage change on the ground surface, and movements such as walking or running near the lines could cause electrocution as electricity can travel through the body,” it said.

SEB also urged third-party contractors of the Pan Borneo Highway to take extra precautions when working near power lines to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. 

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