According to officials with the Prince George County Fire Department, a six-year-old girl incurred serious injuries “consistent with an electrocution” last week just outside of the MGM National Harbor Resort in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The Department's Assistant Chief, Alan Doubleday, says the girl remains in critical condition and another man who attempted to assist her was also injured. Several children were reportedly seen touching a rail filled with lights adjacent to a water fountain in an exterior section of the resort. A security officer who was at the scene also suffered mild injuries.
Doubleday explained that the security guard witnessed the girl being electrically shocked and quickly responded by lifting her away from the lighting rail. When the fire department arrived on the scene minutes later an officer with the Prince George Police Department was administering CPR to her. Fire officials praised the response efforts, explaining that the girl was in cardiac arrest and rescuers were able to regain a heartbeat that potentially saved her life. All the injured were quickly transported to nearby hospitals.
MGM International opened the casino resort in 2016 at an estimated cost of $1.4 billion. The property spans 23 acres adjacent to the Potomac River and features a 24-story hotel with over 300 rooms and a theatre capable of holding 3,000 guests. That night, a large concert was being hosted featuring the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton. The area of this particular incident has been sealed off during the investigation.
Malik Husser, speaking on behalf of the MGM, expressed sadness and offered support to the families involved. He clarified that construction being performed on a nearby upper level of the resort did not play any role in the incident. The investigation will assess the electrical system and be supervised by the local fire marshal. MGM is said to be cooperating fully with the investigation.
Electrical Injuries & Fatalities
Electrical injuries and related deaths continue to plague the county:
- In 2016 there were 154 fatalities attributed to electricity, which equates to a 15% rise over the prior year.
- Many electrical accidents occur in occupational environments among those conducting maintenance, testing, and construction
- Electrocution is now the sixth leading cause of on-the-job death
- Roughly 53% of electrical injuries in 2016 involved on-site construction workers
- The National Safety Council reports that the odds of dying in an electrical accident are roughly one in 14,630
- The National Fire Protection Association has been focusing efforts toward educating citizens about the dangers of electricity this summer.
Common Causes of Electrocution
Death by electrocution generally occurs when a heavy current passes through the body and triggers cardiac arrest or damage to a part of the brain. The human body actually conducts electricity better than many materials. Some of the common errors are related to machines that are being used improperly or have not been properly maintained. In the construction industry, the “Fatal Four” causes of fatal accidents include falling, being electrocuted, hit by an object, or crushed between objects. When such accidents are the result of negligence, often an individual or organization will face civil liability.