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Deadly electrocution incident claims one more life

Families, friends and co-workers of Saito Paulo at the chapel attending a prayer service for Paulo — he died yesterday morning. Paulo had been in a coma since he was involved in the electrocution incident while working for the Manu’a’s store, located in the Tafuna industrial park, on Saturday morning. He is the second person to have died from the incident.  [Photo: JL]

Saito Paulo of Fagaitua, who was one of the six people involved in the electrocution incident while working for Manu’a’s Store in the Tafuna industrial park, last Saturday, passed away yesterday morning. He had been in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit since the day of the incident.

His family, at the LBJ chapel, where his body was resting while awaiting the prayer service to begin, was overcome with grief. Paulo leaves behind a wife and son, and is the second person to die from the deadly incident.

The first person to die as a result of the incident was Iosefa Elia, who has left behind his wife, who is seven months pregnant.

One other employee of Manu’a’s Store remains in the Intensive Care Unit and is also in a coma, while another is still recovering and is under medical treatment in the Surgical Ward.

The two other men of the six that were involved in the incident were released on the same day of the incident.

More than 30 employees of Manu’a arrived at the chapel after hearing of Paulo’s passing.

Acting Police Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson has told Samoa News that the Criminal Investigation Division is currently investigating the matter, and CID Detectives were seen at the Chapel prior to the prayer service for Paulo yesterday morning.

Also at the chapel were Jane Chen and her son-in-law Ben Sauvoa. Mrs. Chen is the mother of Manu’a Chen, who owns Manu’a’s Store.

American Samoa Power Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Utu Abe Malae earlier this week stated the incident was “heart breaking and noted that soon after the crane contacted the high tension line, the feeder tripped because of the large fault current that rushed to the nearby Tafuna power plant. ”If it hadn't tripped so quickly there would have been more fatalities,” he said.

In the meantime, the family of Iosefa Elia, who was the first to die in the deadly incident has retained attorney, Sharron Rancourt. A family member told Samoa News that they have retained an attorney as they are looking at the “legal side of things.”

An employee of Manu’a’s, the late Elia, leaves behind his wife, Leann Lam Yuen Elia. The young couple is expecting their first child in March.

Mrs. Elia is an employee of the Fono, and says she has received overwhelming support from her family, friends and colleagues, since the passing of her husband.

Rancourt confirmed to Samoa News that the family has retained her assistance, however declined to comment on the case.