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2003 News from Mecklenburg County


June 12, 2003

COUNTY WORKS WITH VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER TO ENSURE SAFETY DURING FUTURE EVENTS

Charlotte, NC - On the recommendation of Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater will temporarily discontinue the use of a series of lights illuminating staircases, after the electrocution of a patron on Friday, June 6, 2003.  

The facility's owner, Clear Channel Communications Inc., has pledged to cut the circuit to the fixtures that were recessed in the staircases and temporarily install a series of low-voltage lights to illuminate the staircases for an event on Friday, June 13.  The low-voltage lights, similar to backyard garden lights, will contain a G.F.C.I., or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, to help prevent shock in the event of a short. The North Carolina Building Code requires that the staircases be illuminated for safe entry and exit. 

Upon the recommendation of Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Clear Channel Communications Inc., has retained a qualified electrical engineer and obtained a permit for the work.  County electrical inspectors will visit Verizon Wireless Amphitheater prior to the June 13 event and inspect the completed work to ensure safety.

Immediately following the fatality on June 6, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department summoned a County electrical inspector to investigate.  Inspector Brad Murphy discovered that a recessed light near the metal handrail had shorted and energized the entire fixture.  Murphy also discovered that the fixture was not grounded.



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