Power cut death: What the company said

Mercury Energy released this statement yesterday:

"We are deeply sympathetic to the family and acknowledge the tragedy that has occurred. However, we were simply unaware that loss of electricity to the household was putting a vulnerable customer at risk," said Mercury Energy general manager James Moulder.

"Our operating procedures ensure that if we know a serious health issue could arise from disconnection, we will not disconnect the customer. Even if we are not told in advance, our contractors who carry out disconnections will tell us if they are made aware of circumstances which could put a customer at risk.

"Throughout the six-to-seven week process of disconnecting the home, and on the day in question, we were not alerted that there was a person resident dependent on a medical device reliant on electricity.

"The disconnection in question was one of a number carried out that day by a contractor.

"Our interview with the contractor indicates there was a discussion with Mrs Muliaga, who simply discussed possible bill payment and reconnection timeframes, but did not alert the contractor to her medical situation."

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