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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

TV Reporter Burned in Van in Stable Condition

May 24, 2000

SHERMAN OAKS — A television news reporter remained in critical but stable condition Tuesday, a day after she was severely burned when the antenna from a KABC broadcast van touched or came close to a 34,500-volt power line.

Adrienne Alpert, 48, suffered burns more severe than a person in a fire, said doctors at the Grossman Burn Center, where she is being treated. Dr. Richard Grossman described the burns as "fourth-degree."

Alpert continues to make progress after surgery to restore blood flow to burn areas over 25% of her body, he said. Surgeons also performed a tracheoscopy to help her breathe. She is being monitored closely for signs of infection.

Alpert suffered the injuries in Hollywood as she and van driver Heather MacKenzie were preparing to cover a Los Angeles police news conference. As the van's antenna was being raised, it touched or came too close to the wires, creating a power arc. That triggered an explosion and sent electricity shooting through the van in which Alpert was sitting.

MacKenzie and LAPD Officer Patrick Beighley suffered minor injuries. They were treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and released.

The Ralph M. Parsons Blood Donors Center is accepting blood for Alpert. Donors can call call (818) 557-5432.

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