Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TV live truck fried

This is why TV live trucks can be very dangerous:

A WSB TV crew failed to lower its 40-foot mast following a noon live shot at the Fulton County jail today. WGCL reports the operator drove the truck, mast extended, into some power lines. That triggered an explosion which damaged the truck and sent a surge of electricity into the ground below, damaging a water main. Amazingly, the crew survived and sustained only moderate injuries. READ MORE

Most TV stations have annual training for any employee that might work out of a live truck.


  1. Not entirely surprising that the crew wasn't injured. Electricity likes the path of least resistance and that's going to be through the metal structure of the van. I would guess that injuiries from secondary effects - in particular burns from fire or droplets of molten - are probably the real danger here.

    Wonder why these trucks aren't equipped with interlocks that won't let the truck move if the mast is up - or at least a loud alarm that sounds if the truck attempts to move with the mast up.

    I also wonder whether these masts could be constructed with a fuse-like element in the structure, something that vaporises almost instantly, keeping any significant current from flowing into the truck.

  2. I have seen too many people injured and even killed working with unsafe car equipment. It seems to be all about the bottom dollar to most manufacturers which is why you have to be very careful when purchasing new machinery.

  3. O_o

    I'm wondering how many live trucks around the country are having their masts raised today and then tested to see if their warning/lockout systems kick in when an engineer tries to drive it.

    If that figure isn't 100%, it should be.

    Yeah, a good engineer/photog will check visually. But even bad engineers deserve to live (or shouldn't fry the vans that the good engineers end up getting harassed by management to salvage to save money)