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Urban nightmare: The pedestrian bridge in Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta, where a man was electrocuted on Monday. A wire spliced from a nearby utility pole to power a billboard inadvertently touched the iron bridge.The death of a man from an electric shock received on a pedestrian bridge in South Jakarta on Monday has raised concerns on the safety of the city’s public works.
The man, identified as Muhammad Ebon, 21, a worker from the South Jakarta Sanitation Agency, was taking a break from cleaning ditches near the bridge on Jl. Terusan Kuningan in South Jakarta around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, according to Mampang Prapatan precinct detective unit chief Adj. Comr. Nurdin.
Ebon, who was from Cirebon, West Java, was lying on his back on the bridge when he touched its railing, unaware that the railing had been electrified by a frayed power cable from a nearby utility pole.
He was electrocuted.
Ebon died as he was rushed to nearby Mampang Community Health Center on Jl. Kapten Tendean.
His body was taken to Fatmawati Hospital for an autopsy.
“The family buried the body in his hometown today,” Nurdin said.
Irwan Darwin, the deputy manager of the information division of state-owned power company PLN’s local office, blamed the frayed cable on electricity thieves.
An investigation conducted by the local office found that the current that electrified the bridge came from a cable that had been illegally spliced to power an advertisement billboard near the bridge, he said.
Irwan said that the billboard should have been taken down 13 months ago.
“The billboard’s electricity connection should only have been available between 2008 and 2011. In fact, when the officers checked the connection on Tuesday, they found that the electricity was still on,” he said in a press statement received by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
“The spliced cable, which exposed electricity current, adhered to the iron bridge. The current was transmitted through the bridge, and shocked the victim who directly touched the bridge with his bare hand,” Irwan said in the statement.
PLN officials cut all power connections to the billboard as of Tuesday, he added.
Separately, consumer rights lawyer David Tobing said that the electrocution was evidence of what he called fatal sloppiness in the Jakarta administration’s maintenance of public works.
“The electricity agency was not aware of the dangerous electricity connection.”
David said that the incident was fatal accident that caused by the administration’s ignorance of consumer safety concerns in maintaining public facilities.
“This is not the first accident involving public infrastructure, but it could be the last, if all relevant agencies evinced enough concern,” he said.
David said that officials from agencies such as PLN, the Jakarta Transportation Agency and the Jakarta Public Works Agency should be held accountable for responsible for Ebon’s death.
“Giving a large sum of money to the victim’s family is important — yet ensuring that public infrastructure is safe for the public is more important,” he said.
“Consumers have been put at a disadvantage by poorly maintained public facilities.”
Ebon’s electrocution was not the first such incident stemming from poorly maintained public works in Jakarta.
Multiple motorists plunged into an immense pothole — 5 meters long and 3 meters deep — on Jl. Raya Fatmawati in South Jakarta last month. No one was injured. The pothole was filled with water and virtually invisible.
On Jan. 28, two motorcyclists died after their vehicle hit a pothole on Jl. Bekasi Timur, East Jakarta, and crashed into a passing truck.
Another pothole-related incident occurred on Jl. Asia Afrika in South Jakarta, when a man fell off his motorcycle on Jan. 16.
Another man died after he was electrocuted when a billboard fell on Jl. Arjuna in West Jakarta and cut a power line during a severe thunderstorm.
Governor Fauzi Bowo then ordered that officials remove shoddy billboards throughout the city.
On Dec. 15 last year, Katijo, a pedestrian, died after falling three meters into an uncovered drain on Jl. RE Martadinata, North Jakarta.
Recent accidents on Jakarta’s public roads
Aug. 11, 2011
A motorcyclist died after being hit by a bus while avoiding potholes on Jl. Sudirman, Central Jakarta.
Dec. 15, 2011
Katijo, a pedestrian, died after falling 3 meters into an uncovered drainage construction project on Jl. RE Martadinata, North Jakarta.
Dec. 29, 2011
A falling tree killed two junior high school students on a motorcycle in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta
A man was injured after he fell off his motorcycle while avoiding potholes on Jl. Asia Afrika, South Jakarta.
Two people on a motorcycle were killed by a truck while avoiding potholes on Jl. Bekasi Timur, East Jakarta.
Multiple motorists are injured after falling into a pothole on Jl. Raya Fatmawati, South Jakarta. The pothole, obscured by seeping water, measured 1 by 5 meters and was 3 meters deep.