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4 victims in electrical accident at Lancaster High are under hospital care

Three teenagers and the operator of a football camp who were injured in an electrical accident Monday afternoon on an athletic field behind Lancaster High School remained hospitalized Tuesday, according to police.

A 15-year-old Lancaster boy, who was the most seriously injured of the four, is beginning to respond to treatment and communicate with medical staff at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, said Lancaster Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr.

Police officers who rushed to the scene of the accident had to use a defibrillator to revive the boy.

This boy, a 17-year-old from Amherst, an 18-year-old from Lancaster and a 28-year-old from Getzville were all injured when the metal goal post they were trying to move touched an overhead electrical wire, authorities said.

Police are not releasing the names of the victims, citing privacy concerns, but Gill confirmed to The Buffalo News that Adam Tanalski, 28, a Getzville resident and former place-kicker for the University at Buffalo, was injured in the incident. He is listed in serious condition in the Erie County Medical Center burn unit.

Tanalski operates the Hammer Kicking Academy, which hosted a football kicking camp at the high school over the weekend.

The goal post, which has wheels at its base, was moved from its storage area to another field at some point over the weekend, Gill said, and it appears that Tanalski and the three teens were trying to move it back when it touched the power line.

Lancaster Police Officer Edward A. Clark and Detective Keith S. Kerl were the first to arrive on the scene. Kerl, who is a volunteer firefighter, performed CPR and used a defibrillator, with Clark’s assistance, to revive the 15-year-old, Gill said.

Lancaster police are continuing their investigation, Gill said, but no charges are expected. Lancaster school officials referred questions Tuesday to the district’s law firm, Harris Beach.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, which we are fully cooperating with,” said lawyer Terrance P. Flynn, a former U.S. attorney for Western New York.