Woman on oxygen dies after electricity cut off

  1. This just touched me somehow....it's horrible that we live in a world where money is more important than life...I hope the Agent who cut off this woman's electricity after knowing she needed it feels guilty for a loooooooong time.

    Woman on Oxygen Dies After Power Cut
    Company Allegedly Kills Electricity Because of Unpaid Bill

    WELLINGTON (May 30) - A 44-year-old woman who needed an electric oxygen pump to breathe died after an energy company cut the power to her home because of a $122 unpaid bill, her family claimed Wednesday.

    Police said they had launched an investigation into Folole Muliaga's death, which happened within two hours of state-owned company Mercury Energy cutting power to her house Tuesday.

    Mercury Energy's general manager, James Moulder, said the company was devastated by the woman's death and was conducting its own investigation to determine what happened. Muliaga, a schoolteacher with four children between the ages of 5 and 20, had been off work since February with an illness.

    A Mercury Energy representative arrived on Tuesday at her home in the northern city of Auckland to disconnect the electricity, said Brenden Sheehan, Muliaga's nephew-in-law.

    Sheehan said both Muliaga and her son told the technician she was dependent on the oxygen machine to stay alive and invited him into the house to see it. "Then he cut the power off," Sheehan told The Associated Press.

    Muliaga began having difficulty breathing, became faint and then collapsed, he said. Paramedics were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead within two hours of the power being cut.

    Moulder expressed his "deep condolences" to the family, and said the company was checking reports that it had been warned Muliaga needed power for the oxygen machine. The company restored electricity to the house on Wednesday after learning of her death.

    Sheehan said the family's bills would prove Muliaga was trying to pay the account, and received no warning the power would be shut off.

    State Owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard said there were reports the family had been warned about the overdue account.

    "The correct authority to investigate this and sort out the facts is the police," Mallard said, adding the government would expect "full accountability" if the company was found to be culpable.
  2. :cursing:
  3. This is awful! so sad
  4. That is so so sad. :sad:
  5. Wow, that's awful..
  6. Wow... that's absolutely horrible.
  7. What a sad story! What I'm wondering is.. Why didn't the oxygen company have a spare oxygen tank that didn't need eletric in her home, so when the power did go out she could use the spare one?
  8. :crybaby:That's horrible! And I bet it cost them more than $122 to send out the guy to cut the power! :cursing:
  9. I read about this just this morning. How sickening.
  10. sad.
  11. Am I the only one who feels that her family are the ones responsible for the needless death of the poor woman? If they knew that she was dependant on it to survive, why did they let their bills get overdue? They should've been more careful about something which has now costed their relative her life!
  12. That is just so sad!
  13. terrible
  14. This is a really sad story, but i'm in agreement with you Fenix, if my life depended on it I would find a way to pay for the electric bill.
    It's a lot to put on the guy who cut the power, wonder how he's feeling now, sounds a bit of a Jobsworth...
  15. I don't think that it is a decision that the family would make voluntarily.

    Sometimes people simply do not earn enough money to afford the purchase price of electricity, oxygen, housing, medical care.

    From the reference to the bills, it sounds like they were doing what millions of families do - trying to pay a little bit on all those things, even though they do not earn enough to afford them.

    It really is not a question of how hard one works, but how much one is paid relative to the cost of the things one wishes to purchase.

    What is unusual about this poor lady's case is that it got into the newspaper.