A man is in serious condition after a possible electric shock at a work site in Toronto Saturday morning.

The man was working at a Hydro One transformer station in Toronto's downtown core when he apparently received an electric shock, according to Toronto Emergency Medical Services.

The employee, who was part of a small crew working at the station on the weekend, likely came in contact with a 14,000 volt line, said Hydro One.

"It's a very serious amount of electricity to come into contact with and far beyond anything anyone would experience in the household," said Daffyd Roderick, Hydro One's director of corporate affairs.

His condition was initially reported as life threatening. But Hydro One said the victim's condition was serious and not life-threatening on Saturday.

'A big flash of light'

Witnesses described hearing a loud boom.

One woman, who was working nearby, saw "a big flash of light" and looked over in time to see the man's body falling from the structure.

'It looked like he was dead because he was not moving at all.' - Witness

The man, who appears to be in his 40s, was found hanging about 4.5 metres off the ground on a harness when the incident occurred.

"It looked like he was dead because he was not moving at all," one witness told CBC News. "[He] was just limp."

An ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, and emergency responders worked to lower the victim from the structure.

The man was semi-conscious and breathing when paramedics transported him to a trauma centre.

He was disoriented and appeared to have some burns and wounds on his skin, said Colin Griffin, the acting district chief for Toronto Fire Services.

He remains at Sunnybrook hospital, which specializes in electrical contact injuries, said Hydro One in an update on the man's condition.

The transformer station is located near the Wellington Street West and John Street intersection.

Both the Ministry of Labour and Toronto Police detectives arrived on scene to investigate the incident.


  • This story has been edited from a previously published version to remove a video that some viewers found disturbing. CBC News erred in publishing the video.
    Aug 25, 2014 12:21 PM ET
With files from Natalie Kalata