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Iowa worker still in critical condition

From staff reports

A 69-year-old Iowa man remains in critical condition this morning after being shocked and burned in an electrical accident involving a city power station earlier this month.

Elbert Wilson of Waterloo, Iowa, is being treated at Regions Hospital in St. Paul while the investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues. It was determined Wilson came in contact with a live electrical line while dismantling the substation, which was supposed to have had its electricity shut off.

Jerry McCarthy, Austin Utilities general manager, said Monday he would not comment at this point.

"We are waiting on results from the OSHA. Until then, I can't comment," McCarthy said.

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City Attorney David Hoversten, whose office is handling the matter, said he couldn't say much because the investigation still is in the process and not all the facts are in.

"It's my information that the OSHA investigation is ongoing and there is no report submitted at this time," Hoversten said. "As I understand, it's a drawn-out process that has many steps that OSHA follows."

"I'm certainly not, as city attorney, going to jump into any conclusion or make any statement speculating until we have all the information," he said.

The OSHA investigation could take weeks or months.

Wilson and Tony Knipp, 24, were contracted to tear out the substation at Second Avenue and Sixth Street Southwest in Austin. Work there began Aug. 2. The contractor had done work on other substations in town, according to Austin Utilities.

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