Tower rescue causes Duke Energy power outage in Charlotte NC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and city firefighters spent hours Sunday afternoon rescuing a man who had climbed more than 80 feet into an electrical transmission tower.

Thousands of Duke Energy customers in West Charlotte had their power briefly interrupted when crews had to shut off and then reroute power because of the danger of electrocution to the person atop the high-voltage tower.

The chain of events began around 2 p.m., when a person was seen climbing the tower near Woodlawn and Wallingford Roads near Interstate 77 in south Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Fire Department. Charlotte. Police said they responded to a 911 call and officers attempted to speak to the man.

CMPD SWAT negotiators and officers from the department’s Crisis Response Team were eventually able to convince the man to come down on his own, the department said in a news release late Sunday. He was not injured.

“This individual has not yet been identified due to his mental and physical condition. He has been transported by Medic to Atrium Main to receive appropriate treatment,” CMPD officials wrote.

Most customers had their electricity affected for about two hours. The power outage allowed Charlotte firefighters to attempt a “high angle rescue” at the transmission tower. Video captured on the Citizen app showed an individual near the top of the tower.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, in a tweet at 6 p.m., said the tower incident had reached “a safe and successful conclusion”.

The tower is 85 feet tall with six lines each carrying 115,000 volts, WBTV reported.

CMPD officials say they are looking for a person who flew a drone on Sunday near power lines and the man who was on the tower. Authorities say the drone operator is being investigated because he interfered with the rescue operation.

This story was originally published January 9, 2022 4:10 p.m.

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