Two men hurt as ladder falls on power lines in Cranston

Two men were injured when a ladder fell on to power lines in Cranston Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (WJAR)

Two men were injured when a ladder fell on high voltage power lines in Cranston Thursday night.

At least one of the men was shocked, while the other narrowly escaped flames.

NBC 10 News arrived at the scene on Chestnut Hill Avenue just after 8 p.m.

“All of a sudden, I heard a boom and I heard an arcing of electricity and I came out and looked and there was a fire at the base of the ladder,” Manny Vitale, who lives next door, told NBC 10. “I saw the fellow on the ground, and I yelled to my wife to call 911.”

Witnesses said the men were working on the roof of a home when the ladder fell, injuring one man critically. The other man, who tried to save him, also suffered minor burns.

“Oh, my god. It was terrible,” said Erick Bolanos, who was among the neighbors who performed CPR on the man who was more seriously harmed.

Michela Vitale shared similar sentiments.

“It was like fireworks out here,” she said. “It was unbelievable.”

Video shows a person on the ground, crawling away from flames. People can be heard screaming off camera.

“When he started to wake up, I (told) him to move to the other side,” Bolanos said. “We (gave) more CPR and the guy came back and when the rescue (came, his) heart stopped again.”

But rescuers said the more seriously injured man was breathing when he was taken from the scene to Rhode Island Hospital. Authorities said he is in critical condition.

Authorities said the situation was also dangerous for neighbors who helped, as electricity was pulsing through the ladder while it rested on the wires.

“Historically, the higher you go up the pole, the more juice that's up there and that's where they got tangled,” Dep. Chief Stephen MacIntosh of the Cranston Fire Department said.

Meanwhile, National Grid was there accessing the scene.

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