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UPDATE: Electrocutions of Ashland siblings caused by faulty wiring

Thursday, July 5, 2012 | 3:25 p.m. CDT; updated 5:43 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 5, 2012

COLUMBIA — The electrical shock that killed two children Wednesday at the Lake of the Ozarks was the result of faulty wiring, an official said.

Alexandra Anderson, 13, and Brayden Anderson, 8, received an electrical shock while swimming near a private dock at the 6.5 mile marker in the Gravois Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, according to Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Reinsch said that the shock could have come from a number of sources, including underwater wiring for pumps and lighting. The dock that the children were swimming at had a slide that would have needed underwater wiring, Reinsch said.

In either case, the shock occurred because the wiring was not "ground-fault protected," Reinsch said, meaning there was no barrier between the electricity in the wire and the water. Before nearby adults could rescue the children, power to the dock was completely shut off. 

The adults attempted to resuscitate them by performing CPR before emergency medical services arrived. Both children were pronounced dead after being transported to the Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not have additional information about similar incidents at the Lake of the Ozarks, Reinsch said. A similar incident also occurred Wednesday afternoon at a Tennessee lake, which left a 10-year-old boy dead and an 11-year-old boy injured.

Missouri state law requires an autopsy for any death that occurs in a victim under the age of 18. A child fatality review board will also have to meet in Morgan County to investigate the incident and determine how similar deaths can be prevented in the future. Autopsies of the victims will be conducted later this month.

Reinsch said he is unsure as to whether the parents of the Anderson children own the dock and how long the children were in the water before they received an electrical shock.

Investigation continues by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Marine Operations Division and the Division of Drug and Crime Control. 

Supervising editor is Hannah Cushman.


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