9-year-old girl severely shocked at park undergoes second surgery

The 9-year-old little league player who was severely shocked at a Houston city park last week had her second surgery today. Her teammate and grandfather also suffered severe electric shock as they attempted to help her.  It happened at Moody Park in north Houston.

Emma Lazcano's father says his daughter was in surgery for hours today and she's scheduled for a third surgery on Thursday. 

The 9-year-old was severely shocked Wednesday by an underground junction box at Moody Park as she practiced with her little league team, but Electrician Stephen Piatt says high voltage in-ground compartments are actually in many places including malls, amusement parks, even schools. 

"We use them any place you have to do long distance runs and you don't want the sight of poles and overhead wires," Piatt explains. 

He's the electrical operations manager at Abacus Plumbing, A/C and Electrical. He says wires in the underground box probably power the lights and concession stand at Moody Park.

Piatt believes the lid on the box is steel, chosen for durability, but he points out underneath the strong metal top insulator around some wiring likely came off and the exposed wire probably came in contact with the lid.

"Anytime you get around anything, that's metal and it's electrical, it can be a combination for something serious," Piatt explains.  

He says there are fiberglass and heavy plastic lids, but Piatt says whatever happens to be covering the box, if it's labeled "electric."

"The best thing to do is to stay away from it. Don't lean up against it," Piatt says.

McKinley Ray, 6, and Emma's grandfather were also electrocuted as they came to her rescue. Piatt says if you are in that situation use a wooden or plastic stick to pry the person from the electric current or in a very dangerous and worst case scenario.

"Get down like a line backer and just hit them as hard as you can and tackle them. Just knock them off with your shoulder. Anytime you grab electricity it causes your muscles to contract and that makes you grab on and hold on even tighter," Piatt says. 

Piatt, who has been an electrician for 30 years, says if you grab someone who's being electrocuted you, may not be able to let go.

I'm told little McKinley and Emma's grandfather have both been released from the hospital but are still recovering. Emma's grandpa, for instance, is said to have lost much of his vision.

Caution tape is still hanging by the electrical box where they were electrocuted. No word yet on when the City of Houston Parks Department will replace all of its boxes, as Mayor Sylvester Turner has ordered.