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Child Climbing Park Fence Fatally Electrocuted

The fence was apparently electrified by an underground wire
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
Stock image.   (Getty Images/Sergii Kateryniuk)

(Newser) – A 12-year-old was killed and two other boys were injured after a chain link fence electrified by a live underground wire electrocuted them at a city park in Georgia. During football practice at Fleming park in Augusta on Monday, Melquan Robinson hopped a fence to retrieve a ball, WRDW reports, citing the incident report that says when he "went to come back over the fence, he was electrocuted." The seventh-grader was pronounced dead later at Children's Hospital of Georgia, according to the Augusta Chronicle. Two other boys who tried to help their friend were injured and hospitalized, according to reports. The mother of one of them, David Sette, tells WRDW that her son is improving. Per the Chronicle, an adult also was injured in the incident.

"We lost a future leader. We lost a future athlete. We lost a child in our city," Melquan's former coach, acting as a spokesman for the bereaved family, tells the Chronicle. The oldest of three children, Melquan loved his family and was very protective of his siblings, he says. Multiple investigations into the incident are reportedly underway, with city officials looking into how the fence became electrified. Georgia Power, offering "condolences and sympathy," said in a statement that the utility "does not control or maintain the voltage" that caused the electrocution. Melquan's family will hold a vigil Thursday at the Bernie Ward Community Center. "This young man was where he needed to be," his former coach says, per WRDW. "He was doing what he loved." (A medieval re-enactor was impaled in a freak accident.)

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