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2 dead, 5 injured after being electrocuted by electric fence


Two men died and five other people, including two children, from two families were injured after they were electrocuted by an electrified fence set up by a local resident to keep out deer and other wild animals from hydrangeas in Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the group consisted of two men aged 42 and 47, three women and two children aged 8 and 3. Fuji TV reported that the incident occurred at around 4:40 p.m.

An electrified fence had been put up along a riverbank. Police said one of the men suffered an electric shock when he entered the river, while the others were electrocuted as they tried to assist him.

All seven were taken to hospital where the two men were pronounced dead late Sunday.

Locals who live near the river have said that deer have been causing quite a bit of damage, and therefore it was decided that an electrified fence would be erected in order to ward the animals off, Fuji reported.

However, police later found that a part of the fence had been cut and that one of the cables supplying power to the fence was dangling in the river, which is likely to have caused the seven people to have gotten electric shocks.

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So careless to have left a high voltage cable dangling in water.

15 ( +18 / -2 )

However, police later found that a part of the fence had been cut and that one of the cables supplying power to the fence was dangling in the river, which is likely to have caused the seven people to have gotten electric shocks.

Cut by whom, and why?

I'd say it sounds more like a deliberate act of vandalism rather than carelessness. In any case, the landowner is in some deep do-do right now.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Jeez. It's like a mini-Fukushima: lack of respect for risk in connection with a natural event (a river) leads to unnecessary death. C'mon!

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Shoot the deer!

1 ( +10 / -10 )

We've got three kids and fences close to where we live so I was scared to hear this story.

The fences round here are run off car batteries or transformers at 12V I think. You can feel the shock, but its weak. It sounds like the fence in the story was simply plugged in at someone's house and was putting out 100V. That is very very irresponsible, even for just the fire risk. The news showed it dangled diagonally on some thin supports along the concrete/stone bank of the river. It looked like the wind could knock it over.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm not sure why they need high voltage for deers. I know with cows it's possible to use a low 12V, just hang a few cans along the fence and when they touch it with their wet nose, it gives them a small tingle and they learn to stay away.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

kohakuebisu is correct. Electric fences for live stock operate on a pulse basis sending power down the line every couple of seconds. Although they can give you a good whack (as a school friend many years ago discovered when he relieved himself on a electrified fence post) they are not fatal as they are not continuous. This sounds very much like a home made job that has gone horrendously and fatally wrong. Heads must roll.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Locals who live near the river have said that deer have been causing quite a bit of damage, and therefore it was decided that an electric fence would be erected in order to ward the animals off

So it may have been a locally-agreed decision? Could be more than the landowner in trouble if a local meeting agreed to put up the fence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have often wondered about the safety of these electric fences. In my area they surround all the fields. They are supposed to shock wild boar. I worry because I have cats and other people neighbouts have dogs. I have been assured they are safe, but it seems some are strong enough to kill humans.

Were there no fish in the river? If there were, they should have died or been stunned and given a clue that something was wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Voltage even high is not deadly, it depends on the wattage and amps those are the killers. Also was it AC or DC? Often touched the cow fences back home you just get a good jolt.

Looks like a botched installation where someone just hooked up a transformer to the mains.

RIP and hope the others recover soon.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Deer fences are normally 4000-5000 volts, about double that of cattle and horse fences.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The story is quite misleading, if not wrong. They weren't killed by the fence. The were killed by a live cable in river water, which was once connected to the fence.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Also, a good dictionary would have pointed out that electrocute can only mean "death by electricity." Anyone who touched a live electric wire and lived to tell the tale was not electrocuted but merely shocked.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hope whomever decided to put up this thing get their own little experience of being locked up inside a 'fence', called prison. You don't unilaterally decide, as an individual or community, to do this kind of thing and then not have it set up properly, ESPECIALLY by a river or other water source.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trust me, water and electricity is a deadly combination. But I am quite sure the people who tried to rescue the poor gentleman didn't realize he was getting severely shocked. Everyone who touched him almost got the same treatment. I feel sorry for all the victims and their families.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why the need for electric shock? Isn't the wall itself enough to keep away deers?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There's is absolutely no need to have so much voltage running through a fence that it can kill a human. A gentle shock would be enough to deter any animal. I remember as kids in the UK we used to touch them as a dare (stupid dare, admittedly) and it was just a minor jolt you got from it. Some idiot here must have just plugged it into the mains then let it enter the river. Prosecutions for negligence are in order here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's not clear to me why the fence was located that near a water course anyway, which in itself is a natural barrier. Common sense would dictate that the electrical source be located as far inland as possible, as the river level varies depending on rainfall.

In fact, I'll wager that's what happened. The rainfall from the recent typhoon caused the river level to rise, partially submerging the inappropriately located electrical gear, resulting in a live water course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )





verb: electrocute; 3rd person present: electrocutes; past tense: electrocuted; past participle: electrocuted; gerund or present participle: electrocuting

injure or kill (someone) by electric shock.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Big difference between getting shocked by a low-charge off a fence and a direct charge from the mains. This sounds like a case of criminal negligence resulting in death.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For the record, its not the volts that kill you, its the amperes (current) that kill you. 0.015A can be fatal. Irresponsible to have the cable in a situation where it can just fall into a watercourse/way. If a registered electrical contractor did it, they are in big trouble, and if an amateur did it, they should be in more trouble.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is really something that could have been avoided if someone thought about it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow! Were they running it directly off the mains or something?

It definitely sounds like a home made job as "normal" electric fences for stock control are usually pulsed at very low current but high voltages. It sounds like this unit was on continually and at high currents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I saw this on the news and it might be a bit misleading to call it a river. It's actually more of a stream which is about 1-2 meters wide and maybe 20-30 cm deep. I imagine you would need an enormous amount of power to electrify an entire river which people could swim in, but in the case of this stream it was obviously enough. Also, who was paying the electricity bills? They must have been huge. Someone needs to be held to account for this gross negligence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reminds me a bit of that 2001 South Korean flood in which nineteen people were electrocuted - many while trying to aid other victims - after electric-wire panels on street lamp poles were inundated. Very unfortunate for the victims, and very irresponsible of the planners in both cases.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JoeinTokyo, I came across a fisherman in Vietnam who was electrocuting fish. He had a battery on his back and put two electrodes in the water. It worked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Shocking. I hope the person(s) responsible are charged.

Moderator: No stupid puns please. Two people died.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, Moderator! Your sensitivity settings are rather high today!

Surprising news! (Apparently, I can't say "shocking" because the Moderator doesn't know the meaning. I hope that the people responsible are charged - as in charged for a crime, you idiot! The only bad joke here is that they hired you to "moderate" comments!

shock·ing (adjective) - causing indignation or disgust; offensive, causing a feeling of surprise and dismay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the..........? An electric fence runs on 12 volts and puts put less than an amp. How the heck did these fools have it wired up? Was it wired to the 110 volt mains power? That is utterly ridiculous! Surely it is illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh dear!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JoeinTokyo, I came across a fisherman in Vietnam who was electrocuting fish. He had a battery on his back and put two electrodes in the water. It worked.

A lot of that and using dynamite in South Asia but illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always think it is sad that humans don't have enough respect to treat animals carefully and it never surprises me that people take it to extremes. I have no idea how it works if it does but I have heard that there is enough energy induced in the coil made by a fence set up beneath the cables from the National Grid. So that would obviously have been more than the incompetents in charge needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again, we don't have enough info to accurately comment or to place fault about the accident. Questions abound such as was the fence labeled at all and if so were there signs in enough places to let people know to stay away from it. People will do stupid things regardless of warnings but all you can do is that. Was the fence really cut or was it just an accident of a wire being dislodged by someone or possibly even a deer that was moving in that area? And what were the people doing there? Unless they were very close to the wire dangling in the river they would not have been electrocuted. This story needs more follow up. But one thing is certain, there are hundreds of case where people tried to help someone else in trouble and the helpers themselves got injured or even died as well. I think the first reaction is to reach out to someone who is screaming or is drowning. So hard to think rationally in situations like this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Suspended in the water, the electricity just passes through."

Nope. The fish have less resistance than water, and are killed by the electric currents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

amp vs voltage costs people lives..sigh

0 ( +0 / -0 )

an electric fence to protect...flowers?!?!?! wtf? what a bunch of morons. whoever did this should be prosecuted for manslaughter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Deers are naturally good at avoiding electric fences. It is better to fish for deer in the wild with an SUV.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Um. the electric cable dangling in the river. Sounds fatal.

I hear the same is true in the bathtub where you shouldn't sink your, say, like hairdryer into. If you'd mistakenly drop it into the bathtub when you happened to be in there, then chances are high that you'd be electrocuted. And it's also dangerous to use your electric equipment in a wet location without any footwear.

May their soul rest in peace.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It wasn't the electric fence that was the issue. It was that the main electric line was sitting in the water. Would be like throwing your toaster in a bathtub not some hazard inherent to electric fencing. Bet that landowner wishes they had a solar powered unit now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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