Two thieves found out the hard way not to try to steal copper from high-voltage transformers.
Authorities in Detroit, Michigan made a gruesome discovery over the New Year’s weekend, after two men were found electrocuted inside a city power substation.
Officers believe the men, unidentified black males in their 20s or 30s, broke into the substation to steal copper wiring. During the attempted theft, one of the men accidentally touched a live wire, sending 24,000 volts of electricity into them both. The current was so powerful that the men were fused together and killed instantly. The current even burned the shoes off of their feet.
Two would-be thieves were found dead Friday inside a Detroit public lighting facility after they were electrocuted by 24,000 volts.
Officials said the pair was found at a substation of the Detroit Public Lighting Department on the city’s east side around 6.50am on Friday.
The thieves were attempting to steal copper wire when one of the men came in contact with a 24,000-volt transformer and transferred the current along to the other, reported WDIV.
Police said the bodies were badly burned and that the current was so strong that they bodies were fused together.
Police did not identify the thieves but Detroit Police Cpt Kyra Hope says it appears they are in their 20s or 30s.
‘We have two, that we know, two black males,’ she told reporters on Friday. ‘One of them apparently touched 24,000 volts, and then transferred over to the other one.’
She added: ‘It’s very gruesome – very, very gruesome
Police said the men weren’t employees and believe that they broke into the facility with tools to steal materials from inside.
‘The only reason they would be in there is if they were stealing something,’ Dave Fornell, deputy fire commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department, told The Detroit News. ‘A substation is a maze of wires and open conductors and that type of thing.’
Initial reports claimed the men were shocked by nearly 35,000 to 38,000 volts of electricity, before being updated by police that the men had touched a 24,000-volt conductor, according to Jonathan Smith, a senior electric system supervisor.
At around 4am, the Public Lighting Department had been called to the area for a power outage because they are the ones who operate the station – and that was when workers discovered the bodies.
Detroit police have taken over the investigation.
Here is news coverage of the story from Detroit TV station WXYZ.