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A Prospect Park West residents four-legged friend was killed Wednesday as he trotted along a concrete slab electrified by underground wires. The death of Danny Kapilians beloved collie-chow mix Barkis was one of a handful of electrocutions that occurred in the city in recent weeks. On Monday, another dog was electrocuted in the same fashion, but survived, officials said. Kapilian, a producer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, said that he was taking Barkis for a walk near the corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street, across the street from a local Staples store, when the dog began acting strangely. Witnesses told cops from the 78th Precinct that the dog suddenly charged off and Kapilian had to pull the dog away from oncoming traffic. Kapilian told reporters that when he went to calm the clearly agitated pooch, Barkis bit him in his hand. Some watching the scene first thought that Barkis was being abused, but quickly realized that he had been electrocuted when they tried to lift him up, and received a shock. Barkis was rushed to the Park Slope Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital at 365 7th Avenue, where he died. The police brought the dog here asking for assistance, said Frank Morano, the hospital administrator. We tried our best to provide care and treatment, but the injury from the shock was too much for him. He should never have died like this, Kapilian told reporters. He was a great playmate. My kids loved him. Ironically, the spot where Barkis was electrocuted was just a few yards away from a Con Edison building. A spokesperson from Con Edison said the dog was shocked by a live wire that once fed into a lamppost near the corner. The lamppost had been removed two years ago. By Wednesday afternoon, technicians had capped off the line, killing the charge. After conferring with the citys Department of Transportation (DOT), and further review of the agencys records, as well as our own, it appears we were notified in March 1999 to cut service to a city streetlight that had been scheduled for removal by the DOT, said a Con Edison spokesperson. Based on our review, this was not done. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Barkis family. Cops from the 78th Precinct have since roped off the site, and are encouraging residents to be aware of the dangers of these invisible hot spots. The problem was corrected in short order, but we want people to know that they should take extra precautions, said Captain Philip Romanzi, the precincts executive officer. Sources said that Barkis didnt step on a metal grating or a manhole cover. The wires were underneath a slab of pavement. But water and salt conduct electricity, the source said. Barkis death, coupled with news of a woman being shocked by stray voltage in the Bronx on the same day, as well as the electrocution of two tourists in Manhattan last week, has inspired one borough lawmaker to demand change. State Senator Carl Kruger announced Thursday that he will be introducing legislation requiring utility companies to conduct regular inspections for hot spots in their service areas. Kruger has been calling for these inspections since February 2004, after Manhattan resident Jodie Lane was killed after stepping on one of these hot spots. His initial pleas, however, were answered by a fuzzy agreement to check the hot spots an agreement that clearly didnt work, according to staffers. The senator hopes to garner support for his bill requiring annual inspections of manhole covers, service box covers and utility poles to determine the presence of stray voltage in the next legislative session. Kruger said that Barkis death was a tragic, senseless case of not learning from past mistakes. By now, it ought to be clear that these terrible incidents are not anomalies but a clear sign that something needs to be changed, he said.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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