Sydney street shock reviewed
A report into a the near-electrocution of a girl on a Sydney CBD street has created some questions for contractors.
The report found a damaged, uninsulated cable may have energised the pit months the 15-year-old girl was injured by it.
Schoolgirl Anna Lambden was shocked for almost two minutes after she stepped on the cover of the George Street pit in June. Reports say she had taken her shoes off and was wearing wet socks.
Two people who came to her aid were also shocked.
An official report into the incident concluded a damaged, uninsulated cable energised the metal frame of the pit cover. The experts say the pit may have been electrified since February.
However, lead investigator John Guselli said it was hard to tell because the contractor responsible for the pit's maintenance had exercised legal privilege until this week.
Mr Guselli said Lawyers for Lend Lease Tyco Joint Venture only provided responses when the investigation was “essentially concluded”.
The 15-year-old victim’s mother Viola Morris said she was alarmed about the contractor's behaviour and the lack of pedestrian safety.
“It is not acceptable for governments to allow private corporations to not participate in this inquiry when lives are [at] stake,” she said in a statement.
Lawyer Kristian Bolwell says the family is seeking compensation.
“This entire experience is a preventable disgrace,” he told reporters.
The report said the Roads and Maritime Service had taken action and “provided an assurance this situation is highly unlikely to ever re-occur”.
It also noted four non-safety defects in other pits along the light rail corridor.
Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples says the state will take up all five recommendations in the report.
“Safety is our number one priority and these events are totally unacceptable, which is why I commissioned the independent investigation,” he said in a statement.
Lend Lease, on behalf of the contractor, says it will co-operate with “all authorities” and “carefully review” the report's recommendations.