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Dance performance ends with three students electrocuted; two seriously

Three Leone High School students were electrocuted at the Su’igaula ole Atuvasa Malae in Utulei following their performance in pre-Flag Day activities Monday night. Two suffered “severe” injuries while one sustained minor injuries, according to Pati Pati, their music teacher.


As of 8 p.m. Monday night Pati said that the pair who suffered the most from the electrocution were starting to feel their arms again, whereas an hour before, they could not feel anything. They had used their arms to grab on to the tent pole, which caused the electrocution.


Samoa News understands that of the three students involved, one was a junior and two were seniors.


Pati said according to bystanders, including some parents nearby, the incident occurred after their performance, when the female student walked to the tent and grabbed the tent pole with one hand. She was pulled toward the pole by the electricity, and she attempted to pull away, but failed and began screaming for help. The music teacher further stated that another female student attempted to help her classmate when she, too, was electrocuted. It took several people pulling the girls away from the tent pole before the first girl was able to let go of the pole.


It was noted that at the same time, there were a lot of ASPA wires lying around, given this was the time the linemen crews were putting up the lights for the Arts Council event. Samoa News sent queries to ASPA CEO Utu Abe Malae for a comment, but understands that ASPA linemen are currently working on a report of the incident, which will be forwarded to Utu.


LHS Music teacher Pati commended the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) technicians present at the field for their quick response transporting the injured students to the hospital.


“This incident could have been far worse than what occurred and we hope that whoever is responsible will take precautionary actions to ensure that these types of incidents will not be repeated,” said Pati.


Samoa News was also present at the hospital, where the the girls were responding to the family members who rushed to the hospital upon hearing of the incident. LHS faculty and staff also gathered at the hospital for their students.


Samoa News understands the two students were kept overnight for further observation by physicians.


In the meantime, EMS Manager Galumalemana Fuapopo “Popo” Avegalio said that —given the fact that this is the second electrocution case within a week — he urges members of the public to understand that when these types of incidents occur, they must stay clear until they know for sure the power is turned off, because if they attempt to help, they will be injured as well.