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CLEVELAND - A 12-year-old Cleveland girl is in critical condition after touching a live power line, hospital officials said.
Gasia Thomas, 12, came in contact with a power line Thursday afternoon, according to Vic Gideon with University Hospitals. She is now at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
The call came in at about 3 p.m. for the incident that happened at East 130th Street and Iroquois Avenue, the city said.
Dr. Anthony DeRoss, head of pediatric trauma at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, said Gasia was sedated and on a ventilator Thursday night. He said the current in the wire was strong enough to stop her heart for at least several minutes.
"She has severe burn injuries to certain portions of her body, but electrical burns," DeRoss said. "The burn that you see on the surface of the skin is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the damage it does to the system and the body."
DeRoss said Gasia's prognosis is unclear. He said her family is hoping this tragedy never happens to anyone else.
"If you do see a downed power wire in your neighborhood or anywhere, call the power company or call 911," DeRoss said. "Don't touch the wire and make sure you tell your children not to touch the wires."
Superstorm Sandy knocked down trees and power lines Monday night, and many in Cleveland and the west side suburbs are still without electricity.
The Cleveland Department of Public Safety is warning people not to touch or even go near a downed or hanging power line.
Cleveland Public Power can be reached at 216-664-3156 and CEI at 888-544-4877. For more information about downed wires, click here http://bitly.com/HPChLP
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