Woman on oxygen machine dies after power company cuts off electricity

Marco Green
July 10, 2018

The family said Daniels had congestive heart failure and needed the oxygen tank to survive.

Linda Daniels, who is in hospice care, was in her Newark home on Thursday for hours after her oxygen tank and air-conditioning were shut off around 10 a.m., NJ.com reported. On Thursday, temperatures also reached 90 degrees, leading the family members to consistently apply ice packs and fan the 68-year-old to keep her cool.

"We're saddened to hear that Ms. Daniels passed away yesterday. It was so hot in here, she couldn't breathe-it was unbearable", her daughter, Desiree Washington, told WABC.

When the oxygen tank stopped running, they used a smaller reserve, and when that was empty, they called EMS, but it was too late.

"Extreme heat and cold with climate change will only make inequality and injustice worse", Cecil Corbin-Mark of WE ACT for Environmental Justice said following the NAACP report.

Meanwhile the family say they made multiple calls to the power company, begging them to turn the power back on. "And she's a senior".

But the circumstances surrounding Daniels' death last week were not tied to her ailments alone, according to her family. "We have a large family and everyone in our family was calling", Desiree said.

"As part of our policy, PSE&G had notified this customer numerous times that their account was in arrears and that they would be scheduled for a service termination unless the account was made current", Jim Namiotka, a company spokesman, said in a statement. But according to 6ABC and NJ.com, there is evidence she was working to pay off her balance.

State regulations prohibit utility companies from cutting services for non-payment if a medical emergency exists. "I gave him five hundred dollars and they still cut off the utilities".

In addition to a son and daughter, Linda Daniels leaves behind five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, her family said.

Power was eventually restored to the family on July 6, the day after Daniels died. They also denied there were overdue bills. "And there are a lot of people like her".

A source involved in the rescue mission who saw two of the four boys walk out of the cave told Reuters that they looked exhausted but healthy, adding that one even looked "vivacious and fresh".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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