Thursday, November 11, 2010

Graffiti tagger who urinated on transformer gets shock of his life

An Australian graffiti vandal who cheated death while tagging a railway power substation caused thousands of dollars damage and shut down the Gold Coast train line for a day. But a potentially lethal shock of up to 22,000 volts has left the man, 22, with injuries so severe that police are in no rush to press charges.

He remains at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital with third-degree burns to 40 per cent of his body after a midnight mission to ``bomb'' Coomera station last month went catastrophically wrong. Panicked companions, allegedly in an effort to disguise their expedition, told ambulance officers the man had urinated on a high-voltage transformer.

But investigators concluded he was scaling the transformer to spray his tag ``Wino'' when he touched a highly-charged ``bush head'' and was thrown on to the concrete below. The fact it was raining may have saved him. QUT Professor Birlase-karan Sivaswamy said the current might have largely bypassed the man's body because his clothes were wet.

It is believed the man and three associates entered the substation by cutting through two wire fences, one of them surrounded by signs reading ``Danger: High voltage''. The cost to taxpayers for the incident ran well into hundreds of thousands of dollars, a well-placed QR source said. A police spokesman said the man was expected to be in hospital ``for a while ... (with) very, very serious injuries''.

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