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Copper theft death in Fayette County

THURMOND, W.Va. — One person was fatally electrocuted during an attempted copper theft Wednesday from a power pole in Fayette County.

Sheriff’s deputies said it happened near the Thurmond Depot on Beury Mountain.

The name of the victim was not immediately released. WVNS-TV reported that a second man, 22-year-old Charles Raymond Norris, of Oak Hill, was arrested at the scene and charged with attempt to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility.

Appalachian Power Company spokesman Phil Moye said these attempts turn tragic most of the time.

“It began in around 2006 when the price of copper started to rise, and at that point people began stealing copper from our facilities,” Moye said. “From the very start it’s been an extremely dangerous thing to do.”

The incident knocked out power for three hours to about 50 Appalachian Power customers in the Thurmond area.

Moye warned that touching an energized line is almost certain to be fatal.

“This is a very sad situation and a very dangerous sort of thing to attempt, clearly, as this case illustrates,” he said.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department was still investigating the death Wednesday afternoon.

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