Chinese Man Does Sit-ups Atop Electric Pole, Arrested After Causing Power Cut in Thousands of Homes

A man in China scaled a utility pole to do sit-ups off the top of it, stunning onlookers and causing a power cut to thousands of homes, media said Tuesday.

The unnamed man was taken away by police following his antics on Sunday evening on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Chengdu, the People’s Daily said.

It published a video on the Twitter-like Weibo showing the man suspended about 10 metres (30 feet) in the air as he did a stomach crunch off the top of the pylon.

“The local power company initiated an emergency power cut… affecting tens of thousands of households,” the People’s Daily said.

Emergency services, including medical personnel, rushed to the scene, The Paper in Shanghai said.

It was not clear why the man decided to do sit-ups off the pole but state media warned against anyone copying him.

“The man’s behaviour is too dangerous!” said one outlet.

The incident was a hot topic on Chinese social media, with at least 1.7 million views of one hashtag relating to it.

“I was annoyed because no electricity… and when I see the news and know the reason, I feel annoyed and amused at the same time,” said one Weibo user affected by the bizarre incident.

Another on Weibo did not find it so funny.

“Black-outs can waste a lot of money and potentially lead to a fatal accident,” they said.

Local police were unavailable for comment.

The man’s actions could have been fatal. In 2015, a similar incident was reported by Daily Mail where a Chinese man climbed a high-voltage electrical pole and burst into flames.

According to reports, he climbed the pole after a fight with his girlfriend. However, he accidentally came too close to electrical wires and burst into flames when thousands of volts passed through his body. Engulfed in flames, the man fell 15 feet to the ground and suffered injuries. He was rushed to the hospital immediately where he was said to be in a stable condition although he suffered severe burns.

(With inputs from AFP)

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