News photographer, reporter escape serious injury in ENG van accident

A WSB-TV ENG van was destroyed last week when its mast came into contact with high-voltage power lines near the Fulton County jail in Atlanta.
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A reporter and photographer with WSB-TV, the Cox Media Group ABC affiliate in Atlanta, escaped serious injury last week when the mast of the ENG vehicle they were in came into contact with high-voltage power lines near the Fulton County jail.

The mishap occurred Nov. 18 when station photographer Leonard Raglin and reporter Tom Jones were departing the jail after covering a story, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The pair apparently forgot to lower the microwave mast before leaving the scene.

The contact between the mast and the 115,000V electrical line set off a loud explosion that destroyed the vehicle and left a large crater beneath it, the paper reported. The incident also broke a water main and shut off power to the area for a brief time.

Jones and Raglin were treated at an area hospital for burns and smoke inhalation and then released, according to reports.

According to Sterling Davis, VP of engineering at Cox Broadcasting, the broadcast group equips its news vans with safety devices to prevent such incidents. “In some way it was defeated” in the WSB van, he said.