Maui County filed a lawsuit in opposition to utility firm Hawaiian Electrical Thursday accusing the utility of beginning the huge wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii, by negligently failing to close off energy throughout excessive winds and dry situations, the Related Press reported.
Witnesses reportedly noticed — and surveillance video confirmed — sparks flying from energy strains and igniting fires as utility poles snapped in heavy winds as the hearth broke out August 8, in response to the AP.
The lawsuit argued that if the utility had heeded “warnings and de-energized their powerlines throughout the predicted high-wind gusts, this destruction may have been prevented.”
The lawsuit alleges the corporate knew excessive winds “would topple energy poles, knock down energy strains, and ignite vegetation,” and “that if their overhead electrical gear ignited a hearth, it will unfold at a critically fast price.”
The county argued Hawaiian Electrical had an obligation “to correctly preserve and restore the electrical transmission strains, and different gear together with utility poles related to their transmission of electrical energy, and to maintain vegetation correctly trimmed and maintained in order to forestall contact with overhead energy strains and different electrical gear.”
The county is searching for monetary compensation for harm to public property and sources in Lahaina and Kula, Hawaii in its lawsuit.
The hearth killed a minimum of 115 folks and over a thousand extra are lacking, in response to native officers.
Forbes has reached out to Hawaiian Electrical for remark.