Two Workers Seriously Injured in Electrical Accident

By Ronelle Williams |

Published 07/28 2014 05:53PM

Updated 07/28 2014 10:52PM

(ATCHISON, Ks.) Two workers were seriously injured in an electrical fire at an Atchison, Kansas foundry Monday morning.

Authorities say John Bilderback, 43, of Muscotah and James Colclasure, 46, of Atchison, suffered severe burns after an accident at Bradken Foundry around 9:30 a.m.

Both were taken to the Atchison Hospital but Colclasure was later flown to the University of Kansas Hospital for treatment.

The men were working on an electrical panel when the accident happened.

Authorities say the power to the building they were working in was shut down but for some reason the power to the panel was still on.

"The power to that particular box that they were working on actually comes from the street. So it doesn't run through the plant necessarily and I don't believe they knew that," said Atchison Fire Chief Michael McDermed.

The electrical current that injured the two men was so strong it scorched wooden boxes several feet away.

"The crews estimated probably the boxes were within maybe eight to 10 feet of where these gentlemen were working so that would give you an idea that the electrical arc extended out quite a ways," said McDermed.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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