Two men died Monday after being electrocuted following a break-in at a power substation in northeastern Georgia.

The incident occurred around 3 a.m. in an industrial area south of downtown Gainesville, about 55 miles from Atlanta, police said.

The men broke into the substation and were trying to steal something, possibly copper wiring, when they were electrocuted, according to authorities. Emergency workers were called after an explosion and fire were reported. They could not recover the bodies for several hours because of the electricity risk.

Hall County deputy coroner Kevin Wetzel identified the men as 45-year-old Joseph Long and 44-year-old Christopher Blair Wood.

“I’m not sure what they were trying to steal,” Pap Datta, owner of the adjoining Liquid Nation Brewing, told The Times of Gainesville. “One of the officers retrieved a backpack from that area, and I’m assuming it’s one of theirs. And, you know, how much could they have carried out, a couple $100 worth of stuff? And just the loss of life for that? It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking.”

Gainesville Police lieutenant Kevin Holbrook told 11Alive on Monday that no similar heists had been reported recently.

Holbrook told CBS News that reselling stolen copper wire offers much more risk than reward: “It’s just pennies on the dollars for this type of stuff. It’s not worth it to put your life on the line.”

The botched burglary does not appear to be connected to a string of alleged substation attacks across the U.S. being investigated by the FBI.

With News Wire Services

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