By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Streets Department workers were busy replacing two light poles on the 2000 block of Appletree Street in Center City, less than 24 hours after an exclusive CBS 3 I-Team Report revealed an electrically charged pole shocked a worker collecting trash on the street, leaving him hospitalized.READ MORE: Enhanced Risk For Severe Weather Across Philadelphia Region Monday Afternoon
CBS 3 Investigative Reporter Walt Hunter also found a second light pole on the block with its cover missing where children could easily have touched live wires.
The workers replaced aluminum poles with new, safer fiberglass poles that do not conduct electricity.
Richard Montanez, chief street lighting and traffic engineer for the Philadelphia Streets Department, told Hunter a short circuit led to the pole becoming electrically charged and shocking the worker, who touched it with a metal can he was holding.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Community Leaders Urge Philadelphians To Vote, Announce Activation Of Election Task Force
Neighbors on the block expressed relief that the newer, safer poles were being installed.
Meanwhile, Charles Carrington, president of Local 427, says his worker, although released from the hospital, still needed additional treatment for continuing symptoms, including a severe headache.
Montanez told Hunter that the city is replacing aluminum poles at the rate of 200 per year, but there are still 6,700 metal poles across the city.MORE NEWS: Here Is Where The Pennsylvania Primary Race For The Senate Seat Stands
Pointing out that thieves often steal protective plates from light poles for their scrap value, Montanez asked anyone who sees a dangerous light pole to dial “311” to report it immediately.