911 calls show BPU was aware of slow response to downed power lines

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - 911 calls just released to 41 Action News from the night Nicholas Moeder was electrocuted in Rosedale Park in Kansas City, Kan., show the Board of Public Utilities was aware its slow response to repair a downed power line would come under scrutiny even before they arrived on the scene to fix it.

Tapes show 911 operators the first call came in at 4:06 p.m., on June 15th. The operator immediately called BPU and reports the downed line.

Around 3:40 a.m., on June 16th, a cabbie calls 911 because a friend who witnessed Moeder's death didn't have his cell phone on him.

"He is crying and saying my friend has died, but I don't see anything," the cabbie said.

The operator had trouble understanding the cab driver's accent, so the cabbie puts the friend on the phone.

"Rosedale Park. Now. Now. Rosedale Park. He got electrocuted. He got electrocuted by a downed wire. Rosedale Park, Rosedale Park," he screamed.

The operator urged him to calm down.

"My friend got electrocuted by the downed live wire. Come here immediately! I cannot get him up without being electrocuted myself. Come here right now!" the friend screamed.

"There's a dog?" the operator said.

"No! No dog! No dog," the friend screamed.

The friend again told the operator he walked into a bad wire and was electrocuted, then hands the phone to the cabbie. The 911 operators told him he has already dispatched emergency crews.

Emergency crews were already on the scene when BPU dispatched to Rosedale Park. A BPU employee called the 911 operator to ask more questions

"We're on our way there we are just curious to get some details. We're sure there will be a little backlash for that," the BPU worker said.

Later in the conversation, the workers clarified what he meant by "backlash."

"We were kind of wondering because someone from the Parks and Rec has been calling all night. We keep telling him we are trying to get there as quick as we can. We're just short-handed. We were just wondering if it was a possible prank call to get us out there quicker," the worker said.

The operator told him several officers confirmed a man had been electrocuted and that it was not a prank call.

The BPU worker inquired if the man was still alive.

The worker said he did not know but he believed the man possibly was dead.

We contacted BPU to ask them about these tapes. A spokesman for the utility declined to comment citing pending litigation.

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