It has become frequent that adult people send children to steal electric wires from power mains. Kids are ready to risk their lives for a chocolate
Russia's newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda already reported about Vladimir Cherkasov, a 11-year-old boy who nearly died when he attempted to cut off electricity in wires. He said that some adult men asked him to do it and even promised to pay 100 rubles (this is less than $4). As it turned out, that was not the only instance when adult people sent children to do this risky work. This has become a traditional way of getting non-ferrous metals in Russia’s Novosibirsk Region.
Once little boy Yevgeny went to pick mushrooms together with his friends; mother of one of the boys accompanied them. Searching for mushrooms, the group moved two kilometers away from the city of Kochenevo. As the boys told later, for some unknown reason Yevgeny became detached from the rest of the group; in about 15 minutes the boys heard a strange sound and then a clap followed. The boys dropped the baskets and rushed to the place from where the sound came. They saw Yevgeny lying near a support of the power main; his clothes were burnt. Ten thousand volts ran through the boy's body.
The boy died in three minutes after he told adult people that some man promised to give him 100 rubles if the boy cut off electricity in the power main. However, only the words of the boy are not enough to institute criminal proceedings for involving children in a crime. Igor Vlasov, the chief prosecutor of Kochenevo where the accident occurred says that unfortunately there is no evidence proving that it wasn't the boy's own free will to climb up the support.
Broken-hearted parents made attempts to start independent searches for a man who sent Yevgeny to check the tension in the power main, but were not a success. Like many other children, Yevgeny was a madcap, but never was involved in stealing. His mother says that the boy would never hit upon the idea to steal electric wires; the boy always had pocket money.
The whole of the place learnt about the death of the boy next day. All boys came to say farewell to Yevgeny. They confided to each other that some of their acquaintances were also offered to earn money this risky way. Fortunately, those guys were clever and refused to climb electric posts.
The Novosibirsk regional police tell that stealing of non-ferrous metals has reached its peak in the region. Viktor Chernev, the head of the information and energy saving technologies chair tells that some time ago people who ruined themselves with drinking were asked to cut off the electricity supply, but now criminals prefer to use children. They just explain how to disconnect the electricity and say go!
Usually, little boys are promised 50-100 rubles to run this risky mission. In fact, this sum is considered very big in remote villages and settlements of Russia; unfortunately children may even agree to risk their lives for a chocolate. Men who ask children to cut off the electricity don't warn children that the mission is extremely risky and dangerous for life.
The police say that the only way to save children from this fatal risk is to explain that electric wires are extremely dangerous. Among the boys detained by the police for stealing there were just few who knew the real value of electric wires, how they might be sold and that they were very dangerous for life.
At the beginning of the year road police noticed a well-dressed boy who was going to climb an electric post. The boy told that two strangers gave him a 100-ruble note and asked to do the risky job. He even pointed at two strong men walking about not far from the place. As soon as they noticed policemen approaching them, they jumped into a car and escaped.
Lethal outcome connected with electric injuries occurs 15 times oftener than in connection with other injuries. One third of people hit with electricity in Russia die every year.
It is important that even electricity of 12 volts may kill a man, not to mention power mains with the voltage of 10,000 volts and higher. A torn electric wire retains this voltage; people may suffer from pace voltage in the radius of 8 meters from the torn wire. If one gets into the pace voltage zone one must either hop or walk trying not to lose the contact between feet and the surface.