Pensioner received fatal electric shock in flooded home


- Credit: Archant

A Fenstanton man was electrocuted when trying to turn off a metal valve after a flood in his home, an inquest heard.

Peter Mackett was readying for work on April 24 last year when he noticed that the kitchen and living room of the family home had been flooded.

At Mr Mackett’s inquest at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon on Thursday (February 11) the court was told that the 65-year-old bus driver, who lived in Honey Hill, had most likely tried to turn off the electric in the house to stop a further incident. But moments later Mr Mackett’s wife Jane heard a scream from her husband.

Speaking at the inquest, Mrs Mackett said her husband had called up to tell her that they had been flooded and asked her to “come quickly”.

She added: “He called up to me so I jumped out of bed then heard a scream. I came downstairs to find him on the floor; I didn’t know whether he had slipped.”

Mrs Mackett recalled that she had stepped on a piece of her husband’s jeans and felt a “tingling” sensation which she put down to the electrical shock that Mr Mackett had suffered.

She then ran to the front window and called for help and then went to get her phone to call 999 and shouted out once more for assistance from neighbours.

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“I then went back down stairs and using a footstall I turned off the rest of the valves in the cupboard near the ceiling in the kitchen.”

Paramedics and a crew from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue arrived at the house and found Mr Mackett was unconscious and he was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital. But his condition deteriorated and he died three days later.

After the incident, engineer Simon Munford from Hawkins Forensic Investigations, was called to examine the properties electrics and found that the fuse box for the valve did not have a residual-current device which would have sensed there was a problem with wiring in the house and cut the power instantly.

Mr Munford said Mr Mackett may have then touched the metal isolation valve when standing on the floor covered in water which would have led to the electrocution.

Senior coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough David Heming recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

He said: “It seems likely that he would have tried to turn the water off, and the scream heard by Mrs Mackett is quite significant as it is inductive that something had happened. It was a terribly tragic event which has then caused a cardiac arrest.”

Mr Heming expressed his condolences to Mr Mackett’s family and friends.