Belfast Telegraph

Boy electrocuted on abandoned site

By Damien McGinley
07 March 2005

A 14-year-old boy was electrocuted by a live electric cable on an abandoned site on the outskirts of Belfast, it emerged today.

Stephen McFerran from Poleglass was recovering in hospital today after he was blown off his feet on Saturday by the electric shock, which melted his clothes.

He was playing football on waste ground behind Glenkeen in Poleglass when he fell on to a live cable.

He was taken to the Royal Hospital in Belfast where he was treated for burns to his arm.

Stephen's father Stephen McFerran said he was lucky not to have been killed.

"We don't understand how he survived, we brought him to the hospital, his face was black from the electric shock, he was put on a drip and a heart monitor."

The cable was on the site of a burned-down school.

"The gates were wide open," Mr McFerran said.

"It's the only place that kids can play football in, it was an accident waiting to happen, it could have happened to anybody."

A spokesperson for NIE said they were informed of the cable on Sunday evening, and engineers were working this morning to secure the site.

Sinn Fein MLA, Michael Ferguson, who reported the incident said: "This young boy is lucky to be alive and it is essential that we reduce the risk to others."

Echoing the family's concern at the lack of playground facilities he added: "There are 6,000 people under 18 living in this area with no playground facilities. Funding was turned down only last year for an astro turf pitch, children have nowhere else to go."

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