Wednesday, May 2, 2012 8:25:09 AM
"The insulation on power lines cracks over time"
I'm sorry, what? You don`t actually think overhead distribution lines are coated in plastic, do you?
It`s exposed stranded aluminum. It`s exposed because, well, you have to provide less resistance to ground than the circuit is already built with before you`re in danger, that or crossing bus currents. It`s pretty much impossible to ground out a distribution line with a wooden stick.
I mean, you do see birds, and shoes, and random other stuff hanging from distribution lines, don`t you? They`re not bursting in flames because they don`t help the current get to ground any easier just by touching the exposed cable.
That stick is probably pushing 10million ohms. The pop was either A: dude pushed the B bus cable too close to the A bus cable when he touched it, crossing currents or B: the point of contact was close to an overload disconnect.