Two Men Critically Injured After Live Power Line Falls onto Parked Van

Mitchell Ayau
Mitchell Ayau
Caprice Arruda
Caprice Arruda
Bryan Cheplic
Bryan Cheplic

WAHIAWA (KHNL)-- At around 10:00 Wednesday morning, Mitchell Ayau noticed the power went out in his Whitmore Village neighborhood.

But that wasn't all he noticed.

He rushed outside and saw a parked van up in flames and a sparking power line on the van's roof.

A man who lived in the van was trapped and screaming for help.

"The other person came for help him and he went to try and grab the door but he got electrocuted," Ayau said.

Neighbor Caprice Arruda also tried to help.

"I went to grab my friend's hand and I had to let go because he was burning. I mean I could feel the voltage," Arruda said.

The line carries 12,000 volts of electricity.

The good samaritan who tried to help suffered critical injuries.

The man inside, couldn't be rescued until firefighters arrived to put out the flames.

He too, suffered critical injuries including extensive burns.

"I would say more than 50% of his body was burned," said EMS spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

As Hawaiian Electric Company crews worked on the downed line, neighbors tried to make sense of what happened.

"We hope they will make it," Arruda said.

"Everybody knows the old man since he's been living in there for awhile," said Ayau.

Both men were taken to Straub Hospital in critical condition.

The Honolulu Fire Department and HECO are conducting an investigation.

According to HECO's Emergency Preparedness Handbook, if someone is in contact with a fallen power line, do not try to rescue them, because you risk becoming a victim yourself.

Stay at least 30 feet away, and call 911.