TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man has died in Hualien County after he touched a power line meant to drive away wild boars the day after it was installed.
The 65-year-old surnamed Ku (古) was from Yuemei in Shoufeng Township and died on Nov. 8 during a hunting trip to the nearby Cipuypuyan (米棧) tribe, per CNA. Police said an investigation revealed Ku accidentally touched the line, causing his death.
Two men surnamed Yang (楊) and Song (宋) installed the power line the day prior to Ku’s death, and are under investigation for manslaughter. Yang, the owner of the land where the line was installed, admitted to installing it, though he told police that neither he nor Song knew how much current was flowing through it.
Hualien County’s agriculture department director Chen Shu-wen (陳淑雯) said Ku’s was the second case of death caused by privately installed power lines in the county in as many years. He said that alternatives promoted by the government are safer, but added that regulations do not currently forbid the equipment to be self-installed.
Chen said a meeting will be held next month with the agriculture ministry to push for subsidies for the government preferred product.
Hualien County legislator for the Kuomintang Lin Cheng-fu (林正福) said that Ku’s case was not uncommon, and said that power lines on farmland should not be allowed to carry such large current. He called on the county’s government and police to strengthen public awareness on the issue.