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Two Men Die, Five Are Injured When Scaffold Touches Power Line

June 6, 1987

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Metal scaffolding being moved by a group of construction workers toppled over and hit a power line, electrocuting two workers and injuring five others, authorities said.

The accident Friday at the Argent Square Depot shopping center occurred as the workers were pushing the scaffolding to make way for other construction equipment. The scaffolding, made of metal pipes, tipped backward and touched an overhead power line.

The line, 27 feet above the ground, was a ″main feeder″ carrying 12,000 volts of electricity, according to a South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. spokesman.

The dead men were identified as Leon Brownlee Jr. of Hardeeville and John Robert Houston Jr. of Savannah.

The injured were Charles Bennett, 38; Eugene Breeland, 40; John Hunter, 37; Randy Williamson, 34; and Maurice Jenkins, 20. All were believed to be from Hardeeville.

Breeland was in serious condition at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. The other four were in fair condition at the same hospital.

″One man was crawling on his hands and knees saying, ’Oh my God, help me. Oh my God, help me,‴ said Kay Davidson, an employee of the Longhorn Family Restaurant next door to the shopping center.

Thelma Smalls, another restaurant employee, said she tried to comfort one of the men until paramedics arrived.

″I told him to lie still and not to move,″ she said. ″After the first ambulance got there, they (the paramedics) started giving some of the men CPR. I yelled at one of them to tell me what I should do so I could help. It was a helpless feeling.″

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