ZAPPED: Mikayla McGuire, 12, received an electric shock in a sewing class at school after unplugging a sewing machine.
ZAPPED: Mikayla McGuire, 12, received an electric shock in a sewing class at school after unplugging a sewing machine. Mike Richards GLA030217SHOCK

Student claims to be electrocuted at a Gladstone high school

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl was sent to hospital after claiming to be electrocuted at school earlier today during a home economics class.

Mikayla McGuire was sent to Gladstone Hospital after she said she received an electric shock to her arm while packing up her sewing machine.

The Gladstone State High School Year 8 student claimed she was unplugging her sewing machine when she was electrocuted.

"I pulled the plug out of the wall and got a shock all through my arm," Mikayla said.

"It felt like I had been hit ... I had a sick feeling, like throwing up."

Mikayla said the whole class was evacuated and the teacher sent her to first aid where an ambulance was called.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they received a call at 11.34am of a patient reportedly receiving an electric shock who was then transported in a stable condition to Gladstone Hospital.

"I wasn't feeling well and had heart monitors and when I got to the hospital they did some tests," Mikayla said.

"The doctors put probes on me and told me it's electricity running through my body and it's normal for my eyes to hurt."

A Gladstone electrician, who did not want to be named, said the most dangerous thing about electric shocks was what the electricity could do to the body.

"The most dangerous part is what it can do to rhythm of the heart," he said.

"It can actually damage the heart and knock it out.

"If you're getting hit with (a large shock) you will have serious burns and organs will be cooked ... it depends on the voltage and what passes through the body."

The Year 8 student said it was her first lesson in home economics and she was surprised at how far had gotten sewing the bag.

"All I remember is the shock through my left arm, through my middle finger. I felt it through to my shoulder, all tingly," Mikayla said.

Mikayla's father claimed his son was electrocuted in the same room two years ago.

"He was electrocuted in cooking class from unplugging the pan from the wall," Mr McGuire said.

"They're working on the building (Mikayla's) in too, refurbishing the building and it's the same building my son was electrocuted in."

The Gladstone electrician said without seeing what happened, the cause of the possible electrocution could have potentially been the sewing machine.

"I'd say the sewing machine may have been at fault. You know when you pull out a plug and you find the insulation of cable is pulled back and the copper is exposed," he said.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) spokesperson said the building was declared off-limits to students after the electric shock.   

"Ergon Energy carried out an investigation to identify a possible cause. However, Ergon Energy was not able to locate any power leakage or electrical fault," the DET spokesperson said.

Mr McGuire said the children were cooking or sewing in this room and this could have happened to anyone's kids.

"I'm really upset, not very happy about it," he said. "It could happen to anyone."  

A Department of Education and Training spokesperson said Gladstone State High School had contacted Queensland Government facilities personnel for testing.

Gladstone High was contacted and referred The Observer to the Department of Education and Training.
 



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