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Tree Trimmer Dies after Being Shocked by Power Line in Minnetonka

Updated: 06/26/2014 9:29 AM
Created: 06/25/2014 3:22 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart

A man who was rushed to a hospital after he was shocked while trimming trees in Minnetonka on Wednesday has died, according to sources.

The incident occurred early Wednesday afternoon around 1 p.m. on the 19000 block of Townline Road in Minnetonka.

Fire Chief John Vance said when crews arrived on the scene they faced a risky rescue attempt.

"Apparently, during the course of trimming the tree a branch came in contact with an electrical line," he said.

Vance says crews had to contend with the victim's harness, ropes, a tree that had already been weakened by the crew's earlier work, and the power lines just a few feet away, adding that the electric lines were still live.

Witnesses tell KSTP they heard men screaming and saw the man hanging from the tree.

Homeowner Scott Truax hired the crew to trim trees on his property. He says he wanted the tree involved in the accident removed because "it was too close to the power lines."

Fire crews rescued the man from what the fire chief called "hazardous conditions" with the live power line.

Once crews lowered the man to the ground, they started CPR on the victim, who had no pulse. The victim was then rushed to the hospital where sources say he was pronounced dead.

The identity of the man has not yet been released.

Xcel Energy said 2,500 customers were without power from the incident starting at 1:45 p.m. Xcel spokeswoman Patti Nystuen said most of the power was restored by 2 p.m.

Minnetonka Fire and Police Departments, along with Edina Fire Department and Hennepin County Medical Center, responded to the incident.

Photo: KSTP-TV
Photo: KSTP/Tim Sherno

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