Surveillance video released shows children get shocked in South Fla. pool

By Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: May 21 2014 07:23:18 PM EDT
Updated On: May 21 2014 09:06:40 PM EDT
Pool shock image
HIALEAH, Fla. -

Newly released surveillance video shows the moments when three children were shocked while swimming in the pool at a condominium complex.

It happened on April 27 at the Palms West Condominiums at 1950 W. 56 St. in Hialeah.

The video shows several people, mostly children, swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

One little girl makes her way over the metal hand rail and when she touches it, her head goes back and she freezes. Her muscles were paralyzed by electricity and she was unable to let go.

Fortunately there was a man on the steps just a few feet away. He realized something was wrong and tried to grab the child and was briefly shocked too, but was eventually able to yank the girl out of the water.

But it wasn't over. As everybody scrambled to get out of the water, nobody realized another child on the steps was also paralyzed by the electrical current. After a few seconds, a man rushed over to the water's edge, risking his own life, and pulled the girl's limp body out of the water.

Inspectors say a total of three children were shocked when the pool pump, which wasn't properly grounded, malfunctioned and electrified the water.

"I was in the pool and then the metal railing, I was swimming close to it, and I felt a shock", said Diego Cabrera, 10, the third child who suffered a shock. All three victims spent four nights in the hospital.

Hialeah city inspectors blame the near tragedy on unpermitted and shoddy electrical work. 

It happened two weeks after Calder Sloan, 7, of North Miami, was electrocuted by the light in his pool. It also wasn't wired correctly. The ground wire wasn't attached to the transformer, and 120 volts of electricity from the home's electrical panel were sent to the pool light.

The children in Hialeah were lucky to survive their shocking and grateful to the people who pulled them out of the pool. So far, city records show no official code violations or fines have been issued to the property owners. 

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