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IBEW Brothers move forward after accident

Updated on July 31, 2020

We are happy to announce that both of the IBEW Local 520 who were caught in an arc-flash explosion on May 1 are both well as they continue their journey to recovery.

At age 70, Brother Abel Barajas has returned home after an extensive hospital stay. He is doing well but is still recovering from a very serious injury.

Brother Toga Pendrake made a fairly quick recovery and took some time off of work after the accident. After a few weeks of light duty work, Pendrake is now back to working full-time.

He has now gathered almost everything he needs to apply for the apprenticeship and the Local is hoping to get him into the 2020 class. Local 520 will do whatever we can to assist Brother Pendrake in his endeavors.

Brother Pendrake plans to enter the field of job health and safety. Local 520 believes Brother Pendrake is the perfect candidate for developing strict safety protocols for the electrical construction industry.

The GoFundMe page that was set up for these two Brothers is still active and receiving support from Local 520 members, families and community members looking to show support.If you would like to stay current with IBEW 520, we are posting additional updates to keep our members up-to-date on our Facebook page. Please check it out.

Updated on May 22, 2020

The two IBEW Local 520 members who were caught in an arc-flash explosion on May 1, are both expected to recover, though at different paces.

Toga Pendrake, who joined the IBEW Local 520 apprenticeship program in early March, has had a largely successful operation and his grafts turned out well. According to Pendrake, any pain he has is manageable.

Long time IBEW Local 520 member Abel “Gallo” Barajas is on a slower recovery path.

Barajas had a second surgery on May 21 to attempt to correct one of the grafts that was giving him issues. The pneumonia that he picked up is still being treated.

Unfortunately, the tracheotomy that is helping him breath needs to be in place for at least two more months. Despite this, there is a silver lining. The doctors have advised the family to begin looking for rehab facilities to send Barajas upon release.

Barajas’ daughter said her father has been more responsive recently, winking at family members and mouthing some words.

IBEW Local 520 Business Manager Ben Brenneman expressed gratitude for everyone that pitched in to help both families.

“I personally want to thank everyone for stepping up in this difficult time,” said Brenneman. “Well done Brothers and Sisters.”

Brenneman also reiterated that the GoFundMe page setup to help these two brothers is still active, reaching over $7,300. Any continued contributions will greatly help these two families.

On behalf of all Local 520 Officers, we thank everyone who has participated. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.

If you would like to stay current with IBEW 520, we are posting additional updates to keep our members up-to-date on our Facebook page. Please check it out.

Updated on May 13, 2020

On Friday, May 1, two IBEW Local 520 Brothers were seriously injured in an arc-flash explosion.

Abel “Gallo” Barajas, 72, long-time member of the Local, and Toga Pendrake, who joined the IBEW 520 apprenticeship program in early March, were both hospitalized with severe burns.

Pendrake suffered burns on his arms and face, but was recently released from the hospital, He is on the road to recovery.

Barajas was burned over 50 percent of his body. When initially admitted, he was hooked up to a ventilator and under sedation. Barajas was taken off the ventilator around May 7, only to be put back on the ventilator after running a temperature of 103 degrees and experiencing difficulties breathing.

Currently, Barajas has a mild case of pneumonia, though his temperature is now close to normal. In order to help air enter his lungs, a doctor will be performing a tracheostomy.

A GoFundme page was set up by Brotherhood Committee Chairman, Robert Whitfield. As of May 13, just over 100 donors, mainly IBEW 520 Brothers and Sisters, have stepped up and pledged more than $6,500.

On behalf of all Local 520 Officers, we thank everyone who has participated. Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.

If you would like to stay current with IBEW 520, we are posting updates to keep our members up-to-date on our Facebook page. Please check it out.

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