Monday 20 November 2017

Baggage handler got two electric shocks after plugging electric cable into plane, court told

Tim Healy

A DUBLIN Airport baggage handler was injured after allegedly receiving two electric shocks when plugging a defective power cable into a Boeing 737, the High Court heard.

Patrick Kemmy (39) Park Boulevard, Tyrellstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin, claims the Dublin Airport Authority and Servisair were negligent by allowing him to use unsafe equipment and by failing to provide him with a safe place of work which led to the accident on in the early hours of April 27, 2009.

He claims that the cable he was plugging into the aircraft's power socket should have been properly protected against the ingress of water, as it was raining at time, and this caused the electric shocks.

The defendants deny the incident ever happened and if it did he would have not lived to tell the tale.

Mr Kemmy, a married father of two, told the High Court he had worked with Servisair since 2003 and was a night supervisor on the date of the accident.

The power cable is attached to the aircraft so that it does not burn fuel after it is landed. He plugged the cable in and got a shock as he pressed a button on it but thought "you thick, you plugged it in wrong."

He tried it a second time and got another bigger shock but managed to pull the cable out. He told engineers what had happened and he also informed the airside duty manager.

He initially declined an ambulance but a short time later he requested one and an ambulance crew carried out an electrocardiography (ECG) test and decided he should be brought to Beaumont Hospital. He spent

18 hours in Beaumont being monitored on an ECG machine before he was discharged from hospital.

He began suffering tingling in his right arm, chest pain, shortness of breath, neck pain and headaches shortly after the accident. The headaches and neck pain continued and still continue and he has missed work nine or ten times as a result of his suffering, he said. He also experiences intermittent tingling in his right arm which can feel numb.

Under cross-examination by Bernard McDonagh SC, for the defendants, he said he plugged the cable in a second time because after he got the first shock he was not thinking correctly.

Mr McDonagh said it was their case that if he got the shock he said he got he would have been killed. "There would have been an explosion and he would have been absolutely incinerated", Mr McDonagh said.

The hearing continues before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill.

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