Crane Boom Hits Wires; Man Killed By Electric Shock

by Laurel | June 8th, 2010

Raymond D. Burke

Raymond D. Burke

Crane Boom Hits Wires; Man Killed by Electric Shock.

Second Worker Suffers Severe Burns in Odd Accident in West Springfield — Condition Fair.

July 1, 1941

Raymond D. Burke, 22, of 198 Brown avenue, Holyoke, was instantly killed yesterday afternoon about 1 when a crane boom brushed electric wires on the construction job on Riverdale street, West Springfield, just north of the Country club crossover. Berto Fois, 44, of 1201 Westfield street, West Springfield, was burned about the neck and shoulder and his condition was reported as fair at Mercy hospital.

According to a description of the accident, the crane was letting large storm sewer pipe down into an eight foot ditch, with Burke and Fois guiding the pope into place. The crane was letting down a pipe section and had to move forward so the pipe would fit in its right place, when it suddenly lurched and the boom struck the electric wires carrying 2300 volts.

The charge of electricity went down the cable holding the pipe and struck Burke over the heart, killing him instantly. Burke presumably took the entire charge of electricity with only slight current going through Fois, who was standing next to him.

Fois doubled up immediately from the shock of the charge and received burns about the neck and shoulder. The crane was operated by Arthur Boutin of Taunton, who received none of the charge and was uninjured although he was seated on the crane and had his hands on metal controls which operated the cable. Burke’s body was removed to Dillon’s funeral home, Holyoke.

Young Burke was a native of this city and was graduated from the Sacred Heart Schools where he had taken a prominent part in dramatics. He had formerly worked for the Casper Ranger Construction company and was at one time employed at a Northampton street filling station.

He leaves besides his parents a sister, Arline, in New York City, and two brothers, John 17, and Bernard, 12. The father is employed as a caretaker at the local City hall.

The funeral will be held at the Dillon funeral parlors Thursday morning at 8:30, followed by a solemn high mass of requiem at Blessed Sacrament church at 9. Burial will be in Calvary cemetery.

From The Springfield Republican.

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