Lineman burned during Eagle River maintenance project

A Matanuska Electric Association electrical apprentice was hospitalized Wednesday after being burned while working in Eagle River.

Matanuska Electric Association officials said Steve Claire, 42, of Palmer, was working with two seasoned linemen, Todd Niva and Glenn Durkee, in the Eaglewood subdivision Wednesday afternoon when Claire was burned on his hands and chest.

Claire, who has been with the company just since June 1, was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage for treatment. MEA General Manager Joe Griffith said he spoke to Claire on Wednesday afternoon. Griffith was unsure when Claire would be released.

The crew was performing routine maintenance in the subdivision, injecting a chemical into buried underground cable to fill cracks and prevent water from reaching the cable. They had been working on the job for about three weeks without incident, MEA said.

Anchorage Daily News /