The veteran lineman, whose name has not yet been released, became the second Canadian killed after heavy rains and strong winds from the super storm battered Ontario.
The accident happened around 10:15 yesterday morning in Sarnia, Ontario. The hydro employee was working in a residential area and using a bucket truck when he was electrocuted by a downed power line. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The worker was one of more than two dozen employees of Bluewater Power who had been working around the clock to clean up the mess left by Sandy and restore power to residents. Sarnia, located on the shore of Lake Huron, is in the part of the province that the was hardest hit in Canada by the super storm.
The Toronto Sun reports that winds in Sarnia exceeded 100 km/h (60 mph) on Tuesday. Hundreds of trees were uprooted and the roof of a hotel was torn off. At one point, power was out in the entire city.
According to Janice McMichael-Dennis, CEO of Bluewater Power, no company employee has ever died on the job before. Calling it an "unspeakable tragedy", she is quoted in the Vancouver Sun as saying, "It's a day you never want anybody to go through."
McMichael-Dennis told CBC, the tragedy has cast a pall over what was already a trying situation. She said, "For one of our linemen's family, it's a devastating loss. Certainly I'd be amiss to even think that any words could be even adequate to express...the grief with our family here at Bluewater Power and the grief that's with his family."
Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, said, "It is devastating because the community was so proud of the fact that there had not been anyone injured during the storm and we'd come through it as a family."
The hydro worker was the second Canadian and Ontario resident to die from the effects of Sandy. As Digital Journal reported, a woman in her 50's was killed in Toronto on Monday when high winds blew down a sign from a Staples store. The sign struck the woman who was declared dead at the scene.
Investigations into the Bluewater Power worker's death will be conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, the Electrical Safety Authority, and Sarnia police.