NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - FOX 5 brought concerns about several instances of faulty electrical wiring discovered at MGM National Harbor, including a report by the Washington Post which says faulty wiring led to the electrocution of a 6-year-old girl, to Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker.
Baker stressed that the investigation is ongoing, but did not dispute the Washington Post's reporting. The newspaper reported Tuesday that preliminary conclusions from investigators support multiple failings in the electrical wiring connected to lights on the underside of a handrail on the property's Potomac Plaza. That is where officials say 6-year-old Zynae Green was electrocuted, causing serious injuries on June 26, when she touched loose handrailing that had become electrified with 120 volts of current.
The Washington Post reported the installation of the elements powering the lights should have never passed inspections, the wrong kind of wiring was used and a device called an LED driver, which converts electricity into smaller units failed, leading to the incident.
In August, FOX 5 first reported on faulty wiring unrelated to Green's shock. In that instance, inspectors discovered significant problems with the wiring surrounding the building's fire pump. The fire pump powers the sprinkler system. An Aug. 22 correction order issued by Prince George's County's Department of Inspections, Permitting and Enforcement (DPIE) said the corrections needed to be made immediately. Yet, DPIE has not confirmed that MGM has made all the corrections.
That correction order, first obtained by FOX 5, also mentioned that the handrailings and lights on the plaza involved in the June 26 incident needed to be inspected and brought into compliance. The document did not explain in any detail how the shock occurred.
Baker said DPIE did ensure the corrections were made to the area where Green was shocked and assured FOX 5 that the property is safe for customers.
He said Prince George's County police, the state's attorney's office and experts are conducting a "forensic investigation" into what led up to Green's serious injury and that accountability will come after the findings are complete.
"Once we find that information out and if there's a breakdown in the system, whether it's DPIE, whether it's with the third-party inspector or whether it's with MGM, corrections will be made," Baker said.
In response to a question about possible criminal negligence, Baker replied, "Right now, there is nothing to say that there is a criminal negligence. We haven't seen that. It is now at the administrative process, but that is why we're doing a thorough investigation."
DPIE has declined to make its director, Dr. Haitham Hijazi, available to FOX 5 for an interview after repeated requests.
MGM National Harbor released the following statement to FOX 5 on Wednesday:
"This was a tragic accident and our thoughts continue to be with the young girl and her family. The safety of our guests is something we take very seriously. MGM National Harbor has been working closely with multiple county agencies, including the County Fire Department and independent forensic experts, in their efforts to determine a cause. As this is an ongoing review, we cannot comment until official conclusions are presented and a final report is issued."
Green's family did not comment on the Washington Post's reporting, but a family member did share previously that the family is working with an attorney. Family members did not share an update on Green's condition.
Watch the full interview with Rushern Baker below (App users: click here):