A Verizon technician installing high-speed Internet cables in Brooklyn, N.Y. was electrocuted and set on fire when he accidentally touched a hidden power line Wednesday.
Douglas La Lima, 37, was installing FiOS Internet cables on a phone pole at Christopher and New Lots Ave around 11:30 a.m. EDT when he touched a Con Edison power line in at tree, witnesses told the New York Daily News.
La Lima's two co-workers quickly leaped from the truck's can to lower his cherry-picker bucket.
The leaves burned, said Willy Velasquez, 52, who works in a nearby tire shop. When they brought him down, he was still on fire.
The co-workers tried to put out La Lima's clothes with a fire extinguisher, but to no avail.
He was shaking, he lost color, then he burst into flames, said one of the tire shop's customers. They just turned him off with the extinguisher -- then he just lit back on fire.
Firefighters smothered the flames and covered him with protective blankets, said witnesses, who also reported La Lima had a deep gash on his neck.
La Lima, who had worked for Verizon for 15 years, died a short time later.
It's a horrible and tragic accident, and we send our condolences to the family, said company spokesman John Bonomo.