Authorities in North Carolina were forced to cut power to tens of thousands of residents after a man climbed to the top of a high-tension electrical tower.
There are six lines running through the 85-foot tower, and each line carries about 115,000 volts of electricity. In order to rescue the man, who had not been identified, officials asked Duke Energy to reroute the power through other stations. That resulted in roughly 20,000 customers losing power for a few hours.
After nearly four hours, negotiators convinced the man to climb down. He was not injured but was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Authorities did not say why the man decided to risk his life and climb the electrical tower but noted that he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Officials said their attempts to talk the man down were hampered by bystanders, including one man who flew a drone near the tower. Police found that person and took them into custody. They are facing charges of interfering with a police investigation. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Major Brian Foley told WJZY that people on social media were making jokes and taking bets on whether the man would fall.
“That makes me sick. This is about trying to save a life, and when people look at it as purely entertainment, that’s a sad state of affairs for our society,” said Foley.