LOS ANGELES (APRIL 24, 2023)– We extend our deepest condolences to the family members of Ferdinand and Janina Tejada, a Panorama City father and daughter, who were tragically electrocuted when they came into contact with a downed electrical wire in the early morning hours of January 25, 2021. The loss their loved ones have experienced is unfathomable. While nothing we do can bring them back, serious failures contributed to this tragedy, and we have committed to reform and major improvement to LADWP’s pole inspection and maintenance program.
At the direction of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, LADWP has fully reviewed its pole inspection and maintenance program and has developed a comprehensive corrective action plan.
The pole and crossarm inspection program that failed to properly inspect and identify needed repairs to the equipment behind the Tejada’s home in 2021 has been fully overhauled. Beginning later in 2021, LADWP contracted with an industry leading pole inspection company that is working in conjunction with LADWP to identify, document and report poles and overhead electrical equipment in need of repair. All Inspections are now made in compliance with state regulations and standards, according to strict timelines set by regulators. The resulting inspection reports are then used by LADWP power system crews to prioritize and make needed repairs, starting first with ones that pose a threat to public safety, which are termed “Priority 1” repairs. LADWP crews are currently working as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of needed Priority 1 repairs identified through its inspection program and expects to make temporary or permanent repairs to all equipment in need of urgent attention within the next three weeks. As of April 21, 2023, there are approximately 779 priority repairs remaining to be completed.
The Board of Water and Power Commissioners and LADWP General Manager have mandated daily reports on the progress of repairs and will be receiving weekly updates on compliance with the deadlines set forth in the corrective action plan. While priority repairs are of highest concern, there remains a backlog of non-urgent, non-public safety related repairs that will be completed within the prescribed regulatory timeframes until the program backlog is cleared and kept up to date.
On Tuesday, April 25th, the Board of Water & Power Commissioners will hear a full report and update from Power System staff on the Inspection and Maintenance Program and Corrective Actions.
Public contact with a downed wires as a result of faulty, damaged or aged equipment in the City of Los Angeles remains extremely rare; however, LADWP wants to remind Angelenos to never touch a downed or dangling wire, or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed wire is energized and report downed wires immediately by calling 911.
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