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Norwalk Hour, May 3, 2007
Updated On: May 08, 2007

Electrician in critical condition following shock at local school

By HAROLD F. COBIN

Hour Correspondent

NORWALK

— An electrician working in Marvin Elementary School Wednesday afternoon barely survived being shocked while installing lighting fixtures.  Members of Engine Company 3 had to apply a defibrillator to the chest of John Albert three times before he resumed breathing, said Deputy Chief Stephen Shay. Albert, 34, was listed in critical condition Wednesday night in Norwalk Hospital.  Police received a 911 call at 5:12 p.m. of a man electrocuted in a kitchen in the school on Calf Pasture Beach Road in East Norwalk.  Albert, a New Britain resident, was working in the school with an apprentice when the accident occurred.  Authorities said both were standing on ladders when Albert was shocked and fell to the ground.  Pete Johnson, a utility specialist with the Third Taxing District, said Albert was working on a circuit carrying 277 volts. He said Albert failed to deenergize the line by switching off the circuit breaker controlling it.  The Third Taxing District provides electricity to the school.  Shay said he was told the apprentice working with Albert tested the line and found it was carrying current.  The apprentice declined comment.  Albert is employed by Tychon Energy Systems LLC in Glastonbury. A call Wednesday evening to the company was not immediately returned.  The company’s Web site says Tychon specializes in retrofitting existing inefficient lighting fixtures with new energy-efficient components that optimize electricity usage while providing as much or more light.  The accident was investigated by Norwalk Police detectives, the Fire Marshall’s office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  “We heard a noise and heard him fall,” said a woman who works in Marvin’s afterschool program. She said none of the students saw the accident and they were kept away from where it occurred.  Several parents arriving to pick up their children became anxious when they saw numerous police cars and fire department apparatus in front of the school.  “I’m still shaking,” said a woman holding her son’shand as they walked to her van.

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