The Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) has paid $20,000 to the family of an eight-year-old boy who was allegedly electrocuted from a faulty electrical wire last month.
This was confirmed by E.P.C. Chief Executive Officer Tologata Tile Tuimaleali’ifano.
The incident occurred at Tuaefu, where the young boy was found by his cousin unconscious near an electric pole damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita.
Tologata said negotiations are in progress for a settlement.
“We anticipate paying additional funds, but I cannot say how much because I am not aware," he said.
“The E.P.C. Board is meeting next week Friday and then it will determine from there how much additional funds will be paid in this settlement.
“The $20,000 was paid to assist the family with funeral purposes."
Last month, Tologata expressed condolences to the family of the young boy.
Tologata has also confirmed that they have launched an investigation in connection to the death.
In a brief interview with the Samoa Observer, the C.E.O. said there was a similar case that occurred about 10 years ago and E.P.C. paid $12,000.
“We are assessing and we’ll pay what is fair and just for the mourning family."
“We will not deviate from our responsibility and so a proper assessment is underway to compensate the family accordingly."
“We hope to settle this case and the decision to release $20,000 were approved by our Board last month,” he said.
Asked on what action taken by E.P.C. to assure this type of incident do not recur, costing tax payers’ money, Tologata responded: “Linemen have been back out in the field to conduct inspections to see if there are any live wires lying around."
“Also they have been out and about to see whether there are any wires hanging from the electricity poles that need readjusting. We are working on it,” he said.
In an earlier report, Tologata issued a stern warning for members of the public who have low electricity lines to be cautious.
“We will conduct a follow up soon, however we also depend on the families to report any wiring faults they come across.”
According to Tologata, they have proposed to the Attorney General’s Office to consider drafting a Bill that bans planting of trees next to electricity poles.
“This law is mainly for the safety of the public because there are cases where families cut down a tree and it falls on a line."
“Members of the public need to know that there is a huge impact of trees falling on electricity poles, in some cases there is a possibility that this one tree will eliminate the power for the whole district."
“Yet families don’t really consider the impact until something goes wrong,” said Tologata.
Police Superintendent Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo confirmed the Police have officially closed its files on this matter.
“This case is now before for an inquest hearing… and that is all I can say on the matter.”
Asked whether there was a post mortem requested for this matter, Auapa’au declined to comment.