GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Two northeast Georgia men died Monday after they were electrocuted while breaking into a power company substation.
The deaths happened before dawn at a Georgia Power Co. substation in an industrial area south of downtown Gainesville, news outlets reported.
Hall County Deputy Coroner Kevin Wetzel identified the dead to local news outlets as Shane Joseph Long, 45, and Christopher Blair Wood, 44, both of Gainesville. Their bodies are undergoing autopsies.
Gainesville Police say the two men broke into a fenced area and were trying to steal something, possibly copper wiring, when they were killed. Emergency crews were called to an explosion and possible fire and could not recover the bodies for hours because of the danger posed by the electricity.
Pap Datta, the owner of the adjoining Liquid Nation Brewing, told The Times of Gainesville that the substation is securely fenced and well-marked.
“I’m not sure what they were trying to steal,” Datta said. “One of the officers retrieved a backpack from that area, and I’m assuming it’s one of theirs. And, you know, how much could they have carried out, a couple $100 worth of stuff? And just the loss of life for that? It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking.”