A 12-year-old Northeast Washington girl was electrocuted and four persons were injured trying to rescue her after she fell across an electrified metal plate in the sidewalk outside the Addison Road Metro station on Central Avenue in Seat Pleasant, authorities said.
All five were taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where the girl, identified as Alice Marie Lucy, of 1506 Franklin St., was pronounced dead at 5:16 p.m., a hospital spokeswoman said. The others were released after being examined in the emergency room.
Lucy and a 12-year-old friend, identified as Dominique Lee of Forestville, both drenched from a rainstorm, were "playing with their shoes" about 4 p.m. behind the bus shelters at the station, said Metro spokeswoman Beverly Silverberg.
Lee threw one of Lucy's shoes, and when Lucy ran to retrieve it she apparently touched a wet, 2-foot-by-2-foot plate covering electrical lines that carry power to the parking lot gate arms, Silverberg said. The girl suffered an electric shock as she touched the plate, Silverberg said.
One of the other victims, Mark Artis of District Heights, said he was waiting at a nearby bus stop when he heard "a big splash" and heard the two girls scream.
When he ran behind the bus shelter to help, he saw Lucy lying face down in a puddle, "shaking, gasping for breath," with her eyes closed, Artis said.
Artis said he realized what was happening when he grabbed her arm and felt his grip freeze for a few seconds before he could let go. "I got shocked," he said.
Lee and two other men, Dennis Butler of Capitol Heights and Lester Blount of Forestville, said they also suffered shocks when they tried to help Lucy. Blount said he grabbed a wooden ladder off a Metro truck parked nearby and pushed the unconscious Lucy off the plate.
Blount estimated the girl had lain on the grate for more than five minutes before he pushed her off. Prince George's County police said paramedics tried to resuscitate Lucy at the scene before she was taken to the hospital.
Metro officials were investigating last night to determine why the plate was electrified. "Clearly it had current running through it," Silverberg said. "It shouldn't have, but it did."
Prince George's County police Capt. Jack San Felice said at the Metro station, "It looked to me like one piece of wire was bare. It apparently touched the grate, making it charged."
A hospital spokeswoman said all of the victims, including Lucy, suffered "various degrees of electrical injuries" but no electrical burns.
After being released at 8:20 p.m., the three men complained of aftereffects. Artis said his legs still were "tingling" and his arms felt "numb." Blount said he felt a pain in his side. Butler said, "my whole body aches. I've never felt nothing like that."
Silverberg said the rainwater in the area "was a central factor" in the incident, which occurred as a storm passed through, causing widespread power outages.
Staff writers Stephen Lynton, Eugene Meyer, Sari Horwitz and Douglas Stevenson contributed to this report.