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Man whose electrified fence killed two men commits suicide

22 Comments

A 79-year-old man, whose electrified fence killed two men and seriously injured five other people in Nishi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, last month, has been found dead after apparently committing suicide.

According to police, the man, who has not been named, hanged himself in the garden of his house early Friday morning, Fuji TV reported. He was found by his wife.

Police had been questioning the man on suspicion of aggravated negligence resulting in death and injury after the July 19 incident.

The man had installed the fence to keep out deer and other wild animals from destroying his hydrangeas. An investigation showed that the fence had been plugged into a 100-volt socket and was also connected to a 440-volt transformer in a nearby shed.

However, part of the fence had been cut and 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.

Police say the electric fence was not installed properly and started questioning the man in late July. But the investigation was hindered due to the man's poor health, Fuji TV reported.

A police spokesman told reporters: "We regret that this had to happen as we had been very careful about his health while investigating the incident."

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22 Comments
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440 is very high, amps or no amps.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The recommended voltage for keeping out deer is 4,000 volts, because deer have thick coats that protect them from minor shocks. 440 volts for a deer fence is nothing.

The police's questioning seems to revolve around whether the farmer cut his own fence and put the end in the river to shock people. ... which is just dumb on so many levels.

Firstly, why would the farmer have to cut his own fence? He surely has enough cable lying around to run some to the river.

Secondly, if the farmer knows enough about electricity to build his own electric fence then he probably knows that putting a cable in the river is stupid, because water is a poor conductor of electricity because the water itself doesn't conduct electricity only impure material in the river and because of this the electricity tends to jump around in a box-like pattern much like sheet lightning. As a result he wouldn't be electrifying the whole river, or even a strip of the river (unless it was narrow enough to jump across), just a small square portion where the cable was.

How that many people got injured? I'd say it was probably an accident. One swimmer swam into the very small electrified area, got into distress and other swam into the area to help them. ... Of course after the second person got shocked someone should have realized it was something to do with the area and that the people would drift out of the area because of the river's current and so it was a better idea to go a bit downstream and retrieve them.

How did the cable get cut and in the river? Maybe some malicious soul with a poor understanding of electricity did it? Or someone wanting to help themselves to some free veggies did it unknowingly? Or a bear cut it (a bear's claws wouldn't even feel 400 volts)?

But "questioning" some old man to death? .... there really needs to be an inquiry into exactly what happened in that interrogation room to make his health so poor and him commit suicide.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A lot of death for a few hydrangeas. Such a waste.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The recommended voltage for keeping out deer is 4,000 volts, because deer have thick coats that protect them from minor shocks. 440 volts for a deer fence is nothing.

But that 4000 volts should be provided by a pulse charger which doesn't give a continuous charge. It's not clear, but the article suggest he just connected his fence directly to the mains. The function of the transformer is not made clear.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Coward. Couldn't face taking responsibility for his own actions.

Frungy: "But "questioning" some old man to death? .... there really needs to be an inquiry into exactly what happened in that interrogation room to make his health so poor and him commit suicide."

What a crock! How did they question him to death if he killed himself? If he died during questioning, then yes, perhaps, but he killed himself out of guilt and/or the possibility of facing criminal charges for illegally installing a fence that killed people and injured others. Second, if the guy is 'qualified', as you claim, he still did not take any steps to ensure maintainance of his little pet-project, so it's criminal negligence either way.

So now HE'S dead, too, on top of those he killed. How does that make up for those he killed?

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The noble thing to do for him; RIP.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Sad..the accident seems to be because of negligence. Maybe the farmer could not live with the guilt and the questioning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

now his wife has to suffer more

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I didnt onow it was legal to put an elecectrical fence. And oh well a do-it-yourself

0 ( +1 / -1 )

innervoice: "Maybe the farmer could not live with the guilt and the questioning."

Hence, he was a coward. And the guy leaves his corpse for his wife to find, to boot, and heaps even more problems on her. Hasn't he caused enough death and suffering?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

One tragedy begets another tragedy. I am always amazed at the lack of sympathy people have for those who commit acts unintentionally that results in harm to others.

I can guarantee you that this man, in installing this system, never imagined that it would end up doing harm to anyone, let alone killing anyone. One can accuse him of carelessness, of stupidity, of cutting corners, but I cannot imagine that he was anything other than a decent, hardworking tiller of the earth in Izu. I have met many of them over the years. Good, decent, salt-of-the-earth people.

That does not change the fact that what he did resulted in the deaths of those individuals. And for them and their families, I grieve, particularly at the senselessness of it all.

That does not change the fact that what this man did resulted in an unintentional tragedy. Undoubtedly he believed the best way to take responsibility was an "old school" method. Not cowardly, but taking ownership on his own accord and paying the ultimate price.

I grieve for all who have died and my thoughts are with their families.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sounds like a do-it-yourself job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kenny Iyekawa

I agree. Looks suspiciously like what you say. I mean he was ignorant about the dangers of electricity.

Nonetheless, may he rest in peace.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are too many deers, too many monkeys, too many boars,,,etc on mountains all over Japan. These wild animals come down and eat up all crops and then make farmers misfortune after all. Old man seems to be a victim.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smith

That's just your upbringing telling you his action was cowardly. Some people still believe that killing oneself is the ultimate (and honorable) way to take responsibility for a serious error. You don't get it but that doesn't mean you're right. His upbringing was different from yours so we need to accept that.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

That would be hard to live with. I hope all families involved will find peace.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Describing the man as a coward is a puerile comment. It seems clear he did something stupid that had tragic consequences. It's the kind of act most of us dread doing. But I think we know we're all quite capable of doing something similar. It was a horrible but very human accident. It's hard not to have sympathies with this old grower of hydrangeas.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Coward. Couldn't face taking responsibility for his own actions.

you're absolutely wrong on this one. This man, it looks like, recognized the gravity of his oversight. He wasn't a murderer, but he saw he f'ed up big time. And he probably thought that it wasn't right for him to continue his life when he knew his carelessness cost the life of others. I doubt you would have the courage to do what he did if the shoe were on the other foot. I respect him, and may his soul rest in peace.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

smith

That's just your upbringing telling you his action was cowardly.

100% agree ... nothing worst than a keyboard jockey leaving a trail

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zones2surf: "Not cowardly, but taking ownership on his own accord and paying the ultimate price."

No, definitely a cowardly act. Who says he was 'paying the ultimate price'? Sorry, but it looks to me like he was simply trying to escape a heap of problems he created instead of ACTUALLY trying to make up for them. How does his suicide help the victims of his extreme stupidity and carelessness? How do they help his surviving family, now left to clean up the mess? He certainly got out of any legal problems he created, and he no longer has to 'suffer the guilt' of his actions, does he? So how is that 'paying' for anything?

albaleo: "But I think we know we're all quite capable of doing something similar. It was a horrible but very human accident. It's hard not to have sympathies with this old grower of hydrangeas."

It's not puerile, it's fact. He was a coward, and while it would not have been hard to have sympathy for him had he tried to make up for his actions by working with the families of survivors, or doing time for any legal wrongdoings, and devoting the rest of his life to making up for it, but instead he took the cowards way out when being questioned by police. So, yes, it's quite easy to not have sympathy for him.

Mr. Noidall: "This man, it looks like, recognized the gravity of his oversight."

That's simply wishful thinking. The fact of the matter is he was in a lot of trouble, and he had killed two people and injured others. If he had stayed alive, he would have had to suffer and deal with it legally, and deal with the families of those he killed. You guys are taking an emotional reaction and saying what you WISH he felt in killing himself, and how it absolves him of any guilt because he honorably took his life to repay debt, etc. etc., but the FACT remains that he has robbed the victims families of any kind of justice or REAL reparations, be it through making amends or otherwise, that the man could have provided. He stole the lives of their loved ones, and now he selfishly killed himself to avoid taking responsibility. THAT is FACT.

Suicide is not an honorable act. It is not a repayment of debt. It does not solve any problems but your own by escaping them. That's what this man did; RAN AWAY. I do, of course think it is a waste of a life and a shame, and that's yet another reason why he is selfish -- he threw away his own life on top of killing others, when he could have used what was left to try and make things right.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

smithinJapan, please do not put the western view onto this act . everything about the case was a tragedy, and a s zones2aurf said, the he paid the ultimate price.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Smithinjapan, for someone living in another culture I find that you do nothing to acquaint yourself to the culture. It saddens me every time you post something about Japan, usually it's degrading and lacking of any understanding of the culture. Taking responsibility by taking one's life is not the cowards way in Japan.

Maybe you should take the time to learn about the culture you're living in. It's far to easy to sit in front of a computer and post mean and degrading things when your faceless.

bec

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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