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Updated Aug 7, 2013 - 3:02 pm

Electricity from power line critically burns man

WELLTON, Ariz. -- A man was critically burned by electricity as he handled a copper ground wire on a power pole in the southwestern Arizona community of Wellton, authorities said Wednesday.

The identity of the man injured Tuesday wasn't released, but spokeswoman Judy Keane of the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix said he was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Keane declined to elaborate but the Yuma Sun reported that doctors amputated one of the man's legs.

``He was doing something with the power. We're not clear on what he was doing,'' said EMS Chief Barry Adams of Tri-Valley EMS, an ambulance service, adding later, ``I know he came into contact with it and he had burns on both of his hands.''

A Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District official said the man had cut the 50-foot-long ground wire on a pole along a dirt road near Interstate 8 and was shaking it to dislodge it when it touched a part live with electricity

A resulting short-circuit interrupted power for approximately 2,500 customer for about an hour, said Fermin Ruiz, power operations superintendent for Wellton-Mohawk.

Alfonso Zavala, a spokesman for the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, said the office was investigating but that no information was immediately available from the deputy involved.

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