North Texas

Child Badly Burned After Apparent Electrical Explosion

A Fort Worth child suffered second-degree burns on his leg after an apparent underground electrical explosion late last week.

Myles Roth, 7, has a large bandage covering the shin on his right leg.

"I stepped on this box, and black smoke, sparks and flames were coming out everywhere, all over my leg," Roth recalled Tuesday.

What Roth stepped on is called a service enclosure, a box that protects buried electrical lines, according to Oncor, which connect the transmission lines to the wires that connect to nearby homes.

"It almost sounded like a firework kind of explosion," said father Josh Roth about what he witnessed last Friday evening. "A boom with a lot of crackles afterward."

Oncor – the electric deliver company for North Texas – told NBCDFW Tuesday it is actively investigating the accident but could not offer a possible explanation.

"We are concerned with the safety and well-being of our customers and the public and regret this incident occurred," said Jeamy Molina, of Oncor Communications. "At this time we are investigating the situation."

"I understand that accidents happen," said Josh Roth. "I just hope that it doesn't happen to anybody else."

Two different electricians who spoke with NBCDFW Tuesday each suggested that what likely happened is that the insulation covering the electrical lines beneath the concrete lid of the service enclosure, also called a Hand Hole junction box, failed somehow. And when the boy stepped on the lid, it caused the 120-volt lines to make contact with one another.

Editor's Note: The original version of this story reported the incident took place in Haslet -- that was an error. While the family's ZIP code is listed as being in Haslet, the subdivision is within the city limits of Fort Worth.

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