Gasia Thomas in critical condition after touching downed power line

8:22 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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By Jennifer Lindgren

Cleveland, OH (WKYC) - A Cleveland girl is recovering at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Thursday night after touching a live, downed power line in Cleveland Thursday afternoon.

RBC officials say Gasia Thomas, 12, came in contact with a power line in her neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

A City of Cleveland spokesperson says the line is under the jurisdiction of CEI, a FirstEnergy company. It is unclear how long the active line was down.

A family member found Gasia clinging to the line and called 911.

East Cleveland firefighters were first on the scene. When they arrived, the little girl's heart had stopped beating. Firefighters were able to perform life-saving CPR and regain a pulse.

Gasia remains in critical condition in the Pediatric ICU at RBC.

Dr. Anthony DeRoss, Medical Director at the Trauma Center at RBC, says Gasia's skin burns are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to her injuries.

"It causes severe shock injury throughout the body, to the cardiac system as well to the muscles and tissues within the body," Dr. DeRoss said.

FirstEnergy released a statement Thursday night on the incident:

"We are currently investigating the tragic incident. The individual was transported to Rainbow Babies Hospital. (We )don't have any further information about the incident at this time. It's very important to remind everyone to stay well away from downed power lines, and not assume that they are de-energized.

"Any instance of a downed wire should be reported by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS or a local police or fire department to ensure the hazard is known and appropriate actions can be taken to preserve safety. Also, people should not touch or attempt to move limbs or other debris that are touching power lines, as they also present a danger."

A FirstEnergy spokesperson says power lines are still coming down, even days after Sandy passed through the area.

The Cleveland Department of Public Safety is warning people not to touch or even go near a downed or hanging power line.


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