Copper thieves receive fatal jolt

Detroit utility workers discover two charred bodies at a substation.

January 2, 2018
Edited by Brian Taylor

The bodies of two men who were electrocuted during what fire department officials say was an attempt at stealing copper wiring were discovered in late December at a Detroit electrical power substation.

According to an online article by the Detroit News, Detroit Public Lighting Department workers, responding to a reported power outage on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, discovered two badly charred bodies at a substation on the city’s northeast side.

The “charred bodies” were found “fused together” according to a Detroit TV station’s report. Fire department officials have theorized that in an attempt to steal copper wiring, one of the men came in contact with a 24,000-volt conductor. The other man either attempted to help him or was near enough to also conduct voltage, according to the fire department.

A power department employee quoted by the Detroit News says the substation consists of such conductor and transmission cables and wires that are directly connected to a power generating plant.

Detroit’s police department has assumed control of the investigation, according to the Detroit News.