Hunting activities cause of recent supply interruptions along Sibu-Bintulu Road

The technical team found damaged overhead line with a shotgun pellet still lodged onto it.

KUCHING, Aug 13: Stray bullets believed to be discharged from the firearms during a hunting session had caused extensive damage to overhead lines and affecting electricity supply to four transformers.

In a statement, Sarawak Energy disclosed that a recent incident happened early this month in Pelugau off Jalan Sibu-Bintulu and they are appealing to members of the public not to shoot at, or near, overhead power line especially when hunting.

The incident had led to intermittent supply interruptions that were experienced by residents of 20 longhouses in the area that day.

“Sarawak Energy reminded that shooting in the vicinity of power lines is dangerous, as bullets may hit wires, causing them to break and posing a high risk of serious injury or fatality due to electrocution,” it said in a statement.

A shotgun pellet that was found still lodged in the overhead line.

Sarawak Energy immediately isolated the fault area to restore supply to most of the affected longhouses after being notified of the supply interruption.

However, supply could not be restored to 50 customers in four other longhouses affected by the damaged line namely Rh Encharang, Rh Dian, Rh Wilson and Rh Gama.

“Sarawak Energy deployed a 300kVA mobile generator set to provide temporary supply before successfully reconnecting back to the grid at 9am, the following day.

“During the fault investigation, puncture marks were found on the wire and shotgun pellets were still lodged in it.”

Worker inspected damage transformers affected by bullets in the incident.

The state energy provider revealed that gunshot damage has been found to be one of the causes of supply interruption in rural areas, with a total of 116 cases recorded since 2011, and it is continuously educating the communities on the dangers posed by these incidents.

“The public are reminded that electricity wires are live and must be treated as such even in power outage situations. In any situation, fallen electricity wires are not to be touched, and a safe distance of 5 meters or 15 feet away from the wires must be maintained,” it continued.

Customers aware of any shots fired at, or near overhead lines, or who noticed any damaged electrical facilities, are advised to contact Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email customercare@sarawakenergy.com for assistance.

Outages can also be reported through Sarawak Energy mobile app “SEB cares”, which can be downloaded from Android’s Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store for iOS. — DayakDaily