Police: 2 men electrocuted while trying to steal from power substation
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Two northeast Georgia men died Monday after they were electrocuted while breaking into a power substation.
The deaths happened before dawn at an electrical substation in an industrial area south of downtown Gainesville, news outlets reported.
Hall County Deputy Coroner Kevin Wetzel identified the dead to local news outlets as Shane Joseph Long, 45, and Christopher Blair Wood, 44, both of Gainesville. Their bodies are undergoing autopsies.
Gainesville Police say the two men broke into a fenced area and were trying to steal copper wiring when they were killed. Emergency crews were called to an explosion and possible fire and could not recover the bodies for hours because of the danger posed by the electricity.
The substation is not owned by Georgia Power Co., but by a customer. Pap Datta, owner of the adjoining Liquid Nation Brewing, told The Times of Gainesville that the substation is securely fenced and well-marked.
“One of the officers retrieved a backpack from that area, and I’m assuming it’s one of theirs," Datta said. "And, you know, how much could they have carried out, a couple $100 worth of stuff? And just the loss of life for that? It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking.”