South East Wales

Georgia Marshall electrocuted helping get family Christmas decorations

Georgia Marshall Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Georgia was one of seven children

A teenage girl was electrocuted as she helped her father bring Christmas decorations down from the attic, an inquest in Cardiff has heard.

Georgia Marshall, 13, was holding a metal step ladder into the loft when an exposed cable powering a light gave her a 240 volt electric shock.

She fell among boxes of baubles and tinsel on the landing of the home in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, in November.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

The inquest heard her father Richard thought she was just playing a prank and continued carrying the Christmas tree down from the loft.

It was 10 minutes later, after two other members of her family had received minor shocks, that they realised what had happened and called for an ambulance.

Paramedics were unable to save tragic Georgia who died when an electric current passed through her heart.

Dad-of-seven Richard, 54, told the inquest: "All the children were really excited about getting the Christmas decorations down.

"Georgia came onto the landing wearing her pyjamas, I think she grabbed both sides of the ladder.

"I heard a thud and saw her lying on the floor on top of the cable. I thought it was a joke, she was always playing pranks on us.

"When I realised what had happened I was stunned, I was panicked and upset."

Insulation 'worn'

Another child was up in the attic passing decorations down to Georgia's father when the accident happened.

An inquest heard how the aluminium ladder had an extension cable wrapped around it which carried power up to a light bulb in the attic.

But the cable's rubber insulation became worn exposing a live wire, sending a current of electricity in to the metal ladder.

Paul Farley, an engineer with Western Power Distribution, told the inquest: "As the ladder had been put up and down over time the cable had worn through.

"The live wire was exposed, if this wire came into contact the ladder then it would have become live.

"If the electric current crossed Georgia's chest cavity it would have affected the heart."

Assistant Coroner Christopher Woolley told the Cardiff inquest that Georgia had died "almost instantly".

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