Ya, the first thing that popped into my mind was that one video I saw, I believe it was somewhere in India or something where this guy was on top of a train with electrical lines going by him. He looked like he was just going to lean on them.. then *POOF*.. shows you not to play with electricity, especially that amount.
It is a fun story ralwus and I enjoy seeing this sort of thing. Electricity requires at least two poles to complete a circuit. A household appliance can draw quite a few and various amps that require pressure. Volts do nothing without amps other than look good in science experiments. I cannot see how he would acquire either the set voltage (usually 110 to 260 volts for single phase, 400 hundred volts if carried in 3 phase, and the 400 would have to pass through a transformer as our host ralwus has indicated. 2 wires would need to be connected directly to two high AMPERAGE wires on the pole to complete a circuit. OK that's why I belief the story is tripe. Entertaining, but bulldust.
Reuters is usually a reliable source I agree ralwus, and the warning given if correct, doing such a thing as making contact with that much voltage could be fatal. But someone forgot to check with their electrician this time!
While I am not very familiar with electrical distribution systems in Europe, in the US a residence has 3 wires coming in to it. One of the 3 is the "neutral", or grounded wire, and is still connected even in the power company turns off the power. The other two provide the 120/240 volts necessary for the home and are what would be turned off.
A meat hook thrown over one hot wire and run the the house would provide 120 volts to that house. Quite dangerous - while 120 volts will probably not kill, the flash from a grounded wire with only the power companies fuse will be severe, with most of the wire at the point of contact being melted and/or vaporized. Liquid and/or gaseous copper is not compatible with good health. It also causes fires.
You are correct. In Australia we have 3 phase distribution and step down transformers to single phase 3 wire active earth and neutral at 240/250 volts as opposed to Europe's 220volt delivery. The pole fuse is 25 amps for domestic homes. He could only connect the neat hook to one part of the circuit unearthed to the power supply. No circuit. If on the other hand the wire or hook were insulated, that would cause induction in certain weather conditions without any amperage at all.
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