Protective clothing prevented serious injury after explosion

By Viv Logie of the Greymouth Star

The Greymouth electrician who received facial burns after a power transformer exploded in her face yesterday was saved from more serious injury because she was wearing all the correct protective clothing.

The 24-year-old electrician from Electronet was working at the old Inangahua Junction sawmill site, currently being used to crush lime, when the transformer blew about 12.15pm. She was flown to Grey Base Hospital in the Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter about 2pm suffering electrical burns to her face, and was discharged this morning.

Constable Graham Kimber, of Reefton police, said she was "very lucky" to escape more serious burns.

"I saw her clothing after the accident - her protective gear was black and burned, as were her safety glasses."

Others were working at the site at the time.

"A second electrician said that when the explosion happened the lights flickered, the power went and all he heard was the woman scream."

Electronet chief executive Rob Caldwell said the incident had been reported to the Department of Labour.

"We will be keeping them informed as we work through what has occurred."

The injuries were significantly reduced by the protective clothing and equipment, he said.

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